The role of our Speech Pathologists is to ensure that every autistic individual has the functional capacity and opportunity to successfully participate in the community. Our team can support your child to develop effective communication and can also focus on feeding and swallowing abilities.
How Can Speech Pathology Support your Child?
Speech Pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders, including difficulties with speech, language, fluency, voice and feeding safety. Some of the specific areas of our Speech Pathology teams’ focus include:
- Receptive and expressive language skills
- Social communication skills, to support develop of meaningful relationships with family members and peers
- Functional communication using a range of modes such as pictures, photos, key-word signing, objects and speech
- Play skills to support interactions with peers
- Oromotor skills for feeding and swallowing
- Articulation and phonological awareness
- and more!
Our Speech Pathology team works with each child, their family, and teachers to enable and support speech and language development across all environments, using evidenced-based treatment approaches.
We support each child’s academic and social communication development within the school environment by consulting with parents and teachers and provide strategies to support the child within the classroom and playground.
At EAS, our Speech Pathologists work within a multi-disciplinary team to provide comprehensive early intervention programs, targeting all aspects of development. As children progress into adolescence, our speech pathologists, alongside other allied-health professionals, work with autistic individuals to support their participation in everyday life activities within the home, workplace, and community.
Our therapists work with a wide variety of abilities. We enjoy working with any child who needs extra support to meet their full potential!
Signs Your Child May Benefit from Speech/Language Therapy
- Does not appear to be meeting language/communication developmental milestones
- Has difficulty communicating his/her wants and needs
- Requires cues to ask for help when needed
- Speech errors are affecting his/her reading development
- Non-verbal or has limited verbal communication
- Difficulty relating to peers during play/social activities
- Appears to have shown regression in their vocabulary
- Difficulty understanding your child’s connected speech after the age of 4
- Does not use a wide range of vocabulary (i.e. only uses nouns)
- Receptive/Expressive Language Delay
- Articulation Disorder
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Phonological disorder
- Stuttering/Fluency disorder
SLPs also frequently provide language treatment for children with:
- Preschool Language Delays
- Learning Disabilities
My child has Autism, do they need Speech Pathology?
Children on the autism spectrum may have a difficult time learning and using language. The autism diagnosis generally includes delays in social-emotional growth, deficits in non-verbal communication, deficits in maintaining or understanding relationships, as well as stereotypical/repetitive speech and/or echolalia. SLPs are trained to address all of these areas during your child’s therapy.
My child still has significant behaviours, are they ready for Speech Pathology or Occupational Therapy?
Absolutely! There are no specific expectations or behavioural criteria for your child to participate in therapeutic interventions. Our SLPs and OTs at EAS are trained to provide services for every child. The collaborative approach also helps our therapists better understand your child’s behavioural needs in order to maximize success and progress.
Do you provide Speech Pathology services to children who do not have an Autism Diagnosis?
Yes! We are accepting children with any diagnosis for Speech/Language and Occupational Therapy Services.
What would a Speech Pathologist do to support my child to learn language?
SLPs have a specific expertise in meeting your child at their current language level to help build skills through structured play therapy, modeling, and providing meaningful and rewarding opportunities for your child to learn to communicate.
ABA addresses language and communication too, how is Speech Pathology different?
This is correct! Building functional communication skills through positive reinforcement is a key part of the ABA program. The purpose of this is to help decrease and replace behaviors through increasing communication opportunities. SLPs take this one step further, by building a wider variety of vocabulary, social language skills, teaching alternative communication methods, and focusing on creating a language rich environment during therapy based on your child’s specific needs. SLPs teach children not only to request items or help, but to learn to understand how to comment on the environment, gain information, initiate social interaction, share personal interests, ask questions, and more.