Conditions_For_Speech_Therapy_Autism by nurantonh


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									       Conditions For Speech Therapy: Autism
Autism is one condition that requires speech therapy treatment. However, autism
is often misunderstood and thought of to be something that can be left untreated.
However, that should not be how things work. Autism presents a lot of problems,
but the intensity of these problems could be decreased if given the correct

In Relation To Autism: Vocabulary

A lot of terms are commonly heard in relation to autism, such as: classic autism,
infantile autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Atypical PDD,
Autistic like, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s Syndrome and high functioning Autistic.

What Is It Exactly?

Basically, Autism is a neurological disorder. It is classified to be a Pervasive
Developmental Disorder. The main characteristic of Autism is that it affects three
major areas in relation to speech and language. This triad is the impairment of
the child’s: social interaction, communication and imaginative play.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder is actually an umbrella term for Autistic
Spectrum Disorders. With the use of the term ‘pervasive’, it is emphasized that
the disability’s range of deficits is beyond psychological development. On the
other hand, the term ‘developmental’ puts emphasis that the occurrence of the
condition is during the child’s development rather than later in life.

Autism is actually only one condition under this umbrella. Other conditions
include Rett’s Disorder, which is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins to
show its symptoms during early childhood or infancy.

Another is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder; it somewhat resembles Autism but
the difference is the first two to four years of the child’s life is rather normal, then
the symptoms start to show.

Asperger’s syndrome is also in this umbrella. It is sometimes called high
functioning autism. Lastly, PDD-NOS or Pervasive Developmental Disordere—
Not Otherwise Specified is also related to Autism. These are children that present
symptoms similar to but don’t quite match the other conditions.

What Causes Autism?

Even though a lot of research has been done, there is no identified single factor
that causes Autism. Several factors are said to play a part in the occurrence of
Autism. One of these is brain disorder. Recent studies show that there is a
difference in the brains of people with Autism. Their cerebellum seems to be
smaller than normal, and their limbic system is impaired.

Chemical imbalances are also said to play a part here. It was found that in some
cases, symptoms came from food allergies, chemical deficiencies, hormonal
imbalances or elevated brain chemical levels.

Heredity is also an important factor. A lot of genetic disorders have Autism as a
symptom. An example would be the fragile-X syndrome. Other factors include
pre-, peri-, post-natal trauma, brain damage complications and MMR

Whatever the cause may be, the child with Autism should be given the same
structured training in able to stimulate his learning, language and social skills.


For a child to be diagnosed of having Autism, he should first qualify for the
Diagnostic Criteria for Autistic Disorders according to the DSM-IV.

Treatment: Therapy And Others

Due to the triad of Autism effects on the child, speech therapy becomes a vital
part of Autism management. However, other members of the team are also
needed such as pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, child psychiatrist,
psychologist, occupational therapist, behavior therapist, and educators like
schoolteachers or Special Education teachers.

Role Of Speech Therapist In Autism Rehabilitation

The Speech Therapist assesses hearing. He also evaluates whether the speech and
language difficulties of the child is really due to Autism or another disorder. This
can be taken from analyzing the child’s expressive language, receptive language,
oral-motor functions, voice quality, articulation and fluency, auditory processing
and pragmatic skills.

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