How Does Speech Therapy Help with Autism?

speech therapy help with autism

Speech therapy helps children with autism develop communication skills. Speech therapists work with children to help them improve their ability to communicate with others, learn how to better understand and use language and improve social and interpersonal skills.

Many children with autism can have difficulty speaking, which can make daily tasks and life challenging. Speech therapy can help children to develop their communication skills, express their emotions and build better relationships. In this article, we will share how speech therapy benefits children with autism.

Therapy Connect: Speech-Language Pathologists

A speech therapist (also known as Speech Pathologist) helps people to communicate to the best of their ability including verbal and non-verbal language. Therapy Connect is Australia’s leading NDIS online therapy provider, and have been connecting clients with compassionate and experienced practitioners for almost 10 years.

We have a team of over 70 highly-qualified therapists who are outcomes-focused and use a personalised, client-centred approach to therapies helping your child to achieve their specific goals.

Therapy Connect services are delivered online, via a video call, so no matter where you live, we meet you where you are. Once you register with Therapy Connect, we offer an initial session with one of our Senior practitioners who conduct a Client Services Planning (CSP) session to match the right speech therapist with your child. We consider your child’s needs, goals and availability, so we can deliver a high quality and accessible service wherever you are.

How does speech therapy benefit autistic children?

The primary goal of speech therapy is to help autistic children improve their communication skills, develop relationships and confidently understand, interact and engage with their immediate environments, such as pre-school, school, at home and in the community.  Speech therapy empowers children to express themselves, improve cognizance and understand and process language effectively.

Here are the top 5 ways speech therapy can help children on the autism spectrum:

1. Learn how to safely and clearly communicate their demands and needs to others.

Speech therapy will help to improve both verbal and nonverbal communication. Children are taught the skills to help them communicate better with their family members, classmates, playmates, and new acquaintances. These skills can help them deal with real-world situations they may encounter, whether it’s expressing their thoughts and ideas to their teacher or simply making small talk with a classmate.

2. Learn how to recognise and comprehend what is being said to them.

Successful communication is when the person understands the message being communicated, not just the words, which is called comprehension. Children who receive speech therapy will be better able to recognise and respond to other people’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Speech therapy helps your child learn to read body language, facial expressions and enables them to initiate and communication on their own.

3. Learn how to interact with classmates and establish communication to form friendships.

Some autistic children can struggle to engage in spontaneous, unplanned conversations and some children may find it challenging to communicate about subjects outside of their own interests. Therapy Connect speech therapy helps teach children how to engage with others so that they can play, develop friendships and feel more comfortable and confident in their environment. It improves social skills and teaches the fundamental communication skills to connect with others.

4. Learn how to speak without stuttering.

Some autistic children can find it difficult to talk without stuttering, resulting in difficulties such as repetitions and prolongations. Our online speech therapy services are designed to assist children in speaking freely and smoothly, resulting in fluency through the use of simple fluency-shaping strategies.

If your child has difficulty speaking due to a lack of coordination between their articulators, our therapy sessions will teach them new techniques for producing specific sounds or sound patterns, making them easier to understand in conversation.

5. Learn expressive language skills.

Expressive language includes gestures such as waving our hands, shrugging your shoulders, and pointing at objects to communicate clearly. During therapy sessions with your speech pathologist, your child will learn critical expressive language skills as well as how to interpret and communicate through facial expressions, so they can communicate more effectively.

Why do people choose Therapy Connect?

At Therapy Connect, we believe that better health belongs to everyone, regardless of where you live. That’s why we offer faster and easier access to highly qualified and experienced therapists across the country – not just the ones in your postcode.

Faster and easier access, wherever you are

Less waiting than in-person therapy and our online model means location is irrelevant.

Tailored to individual needs and goals

Personalised programs are based on the individual needs and goals of every child and we take a  multi-disciplinary approach.

Evidence-based, designed for online delivery

Our approach is backed by research partnerships with Sydney University and the University of Queensland, where we literally helped write the guidelines for online therapy.

Access to the best therapists in Australia

Therapy Connect has more than 70 therapists across the country including speech pathologists, occupational therapists, dietitians, psychologists and physiotherapists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability characterised by substantial social, communicative, and behavioural difficulties. It’s called a “spectrum” because there is a wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability. Autism can range from very mild to severe. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is about four times more common among boys than girls. The exact cause of autism is unknown, but both genetics and environment seem to play a role in its development. There is no single medical test that can diagnose autism. Instead, doctors look at the child’s behaviour and development to make a diagnosis. Autism spectrum disorder can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2 or 3, most children with autism can be diagnosed based on their signs and symptoms. Diagnosis by this age allows for early intervention treatments to begin. Some associated behaviours include delayed speech and language skills.

Fortunately, speech therapy has been proven to be highly effective in assisting children with autism to lead happy and productive lives. It successfully improves communication and social skills in children diagnosed with ASD.

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual child and their needs. However, experts agree that early intervention is key and that therapy should begin as soon as a diagnosis is made.

A critical part of making friends is communication. Our speech therapy session will equip your child with the skills needed to make friends easily.

Speech pathologists play an important role in the assessment and diagnosis of Autism. They are trained to assess and diagnose communication difficulties, which are often a hallmark of ASD. They also have experience working with individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities, which gives them a unique perspective on the condition. In addition, speech pathologists are often able to provide recommendations for intervention and support for individuals with ASD and their families.


Final Thoughts

Speech therapy can have a significant positive impact on children with autism. Not only does it help them to communicate better, but it also helps to improve their social skills and overall quality of life. In addition, speech therapy can also help to improve their cognitive abilities and academic performance. Overall, the benefits of speech therapy for children with autism are immense and cannot be understated.

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Therapy Connect

Therapy Connect delivers faster and easier access to highly qualified and experienced therapists across the country – not just the ones in your postcode.


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