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Tuesday 21 Oct 2014

Challenges for ASD

What are the communication challenges for individuals with ASD?

Communication is a process where we assign and express meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires the coordination of many skills (ex. listening, observing, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating).  During typical speech and language development, children learn to transfer these skills to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond.  It is through communication that children express their thoughts and ideas, learn new things and build relationships with others.

For many children with autism, communication can be challenging.  Possible signs and symptoms may include:

  • Limited or lack of verbal speech
  • Difficulty expressing needs and wants
  • Echolalia (repeating a word or phrase that has been previously heard)
  • Loss of words that the child was previously able to say
  • Inability to identify objects (poor vocabulary development)
  • Difficulty answering questions
  • Limited attention to people and objects in environment
  • Poor response to verbal instructions
  • Disruptive behaviors to gain access to or avoid items, activities, people or places

Communicating during social situations may also be a challenge for individuals with ASD.  They may have a difficult time interacting with others, appear to have little or no interest in making friends, or not know how to interact with others in a social manner.  In addition, individuals with ASD may have difficulty understanding the emotions of others and may respond inappropriately.  This may lead to misunderstandings in the communication exchange.

Sensory issues can also effect communication. There may be certain sounds, tastes or sights that cause anxiety or provoke an unusual response. The response may not make sense to others because the individual with autism does not have the tools or ability to appropriately communicate the reasons for his or her response.

What can be done to better support communication?

The first step in supporting the communication development of someone with autism is to have a complete evaluation by a Speech-Language Pathologist.  This evaluation would determine both communication and social needs of the child.   Once the evaluation is completed, an appropriate treatment plan that meets the needs of the child and their family will be developed.  The overall objective of Speech-Language Pathology services is to optimize the individual ability to communicate in all environments, thereby improving quality of life.

Speech and language treatment may include a combination of traditional speech and language approaches, behavior modification strategies and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions.

Source:

http://autism.lovetoknow.com/Autism_and_Communication

http://www.k12.wa.us/curriculuminstruct/communications/default.aspx

http://www.asha.org/public/

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  1. [...] Communication is a process where we assign and express meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires the coordination of many skills (ex. listening, observing, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating).  During typical speech and language development, children learn to transfer these skills to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond.  It is through communication that children express their thoughts and ideas, learn new things and build relationships with others. (http://www.autism-community.com/communication/challenges-for-asd/) [...]