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Nonverbal Autistic Children - Speech Therapy For Nonverbal Children

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					       Nonverbal Autistic Children - Speech
        Therapy For Nonverbal Children
Written by: Autism Advisor



Nonverbal Autistic Children

Children with autism not only may have trouble communicating socially, but may also have
problems behaving. The goal of speech therapy is to improve all aspects of communication.
Speech therapy sessions will vary greatly depending upon the child.

Many scientific studies demonstrate that speech therapy is able to improve the
communication skills of children with autism and consequently many autism centers offer
speech therapy. For example, the Marian Hope Center in Missouri, offers many therapies
with a focus is on individual goals for each child. The center, open since 2007, offers play
groups, play classes, and pre-kindergarten classes. Special education teachers work with
children with autism on skills that will allow them to mainstream and/or become a part of the
community. There is an emphasis on integrative therapy that combines treatments such as
speech therapy and nutrition therapy. Nonverbal Autistic Children

Older Nonverbal Children

Speech therapy has also been found to be beneficial to older nonverbal children. Some
professionals thought that if children did not speak by age 5, then they would not be able to
speak. A review of speech therapy studies in older children found that some children were
able to speak their first words between the ages of 5 and 13. There were no reports in the
speech literature of anyone older than 13 years starting to speak. Even in the 5-13 year old
age group, however, it was relatively rare for children to start speaking. For example, out of
183 nonverbal children in two studies, 11 spoke their first words between 5-13 years of age.
Speech therapy was helpful for some children, and worked after other therapy options did not
work. Other helpful therapies included behavioral therapy (ABA) techniques (reinforcement,
shaping, fading), sign language use, special education programs, and computer-assisted
learning were also helpful.

    Nonverbal Autistic Children - Speech Therapy For Nonverbal Children © 2010
Receiving Speech Therapy

Autism is a condition covered under the United States' Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) of 2004. The cost of this therapy is often covered by the government
through this act. Unfortunately, sometimes there are lengthy delays before the government is
able to supply the therapy that a child needs. A recent study examined the fate of the 14,623
children in 2004 who were under the age of three, lived in New York City, and who had
developmental delays that required therapy services. In New York City, children with
developmental delays are given an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to define the
services that are needed for that child. Ideally the child would start therapy services within 21
days of getting their IFSP. The authors of the study found that some children had to wait
longer than 21 days to get therapies. The percentage of children who had to wait varied for
different therapy services. The highest was 13% for speech therapy, and the lowest was 4%
for physical therapy. People in this study who lived in low-income or Spanish-speaking
neighborhoods had more service delays than people who live elsewhere. Nonverbal Autistic
Children




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    Nonverbal Autistic Children - Speech Therapy For Nonverbal Children © 2010