How Can Speech Therapy Help Children with Asperger’s Syndrome?
Speech therapy is not only for children who have trouble saying their TH sounds or have a lisp. There is so much more to communication than just the pronunciation of words. When it comes to assisting children with Asperger’s syndrome, speech therapy can address challenges with age-appropriate social skills as they are so often reliant on communication. When communication becomes an additional barrier to their social interactions, a child with Asperger’s can become even more anxious in social situations and withdraw.
The social use of language falls under the category of pragmatic language therapy. This approach can involve teaching a child how to take turns in a conversation, appropriate distance to maintain, and all of the other unwritten rules of social communication. These rules may come naturally to neurotypical children, but for a child with Asperger’s these skills need to be taught and practiced.
Non-verbal communication skills can be integrated into the custom speech therapy program for a child with Asperger’s. In fact, skills like understanding intonation, reading body language, reading facial expressions and knowing when they are being prompted to speak can increase a child’s overall social comfort.
Some children with Asperger’s do indeed struggle with articulation errors. With speech therapy, we can help them be better understood by peers, parents, teachers and all the people in their life. It is actually quite common for a child who improves their pronunciation and communication skills to reduce social anxieties because they are more confident in being understood when they speak — resulting in them being willing to speak more.
While your physician may be recommending a variety of occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, support groups, and tutoring, often the addition of speech-therapy can round out a comprehensive care program to prepare your Asperger’s child to interact with the world with more comfort and success.
If you’re curious to learn more about speech therapy for Asperger’s, give us a call today! 704-845-0561