Through attending formal speech pathology sessions, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) gain support in building their communication skills. However, most of the communication development does occur outside the speech therapists’ consultation rooms. Parents, caregivers, and teachers are key contributors to speech therapy for children living with autism, these key contributors can team up with speech-language pathologists(SLPs) in entrenching communication experiences for their children as they grow.
Our SLPs utilise the Nurtured Heart Approach, a relationship-focused methodology to teach parents and caregivers how to use the same intensity in telling a child when they are doing something right as we would if they were doing something wrong. It’s a powerful way of awakening the innate greatness that’s found in every child whilst also assisting the parenting process and developing classroom success.
Steps to take when implementing speech pathology interventions at home
SLPs customise speech therapy plans and activities based on the individual child’s communication abilities and needs. The plans will incorporate home-based and school activities.
Parents and caregivers can start off by building through 5 to 10-minute learning opportunities that are a part of daily activities that children already enjoy and are stimulating to a child. Eventually, caregivers will be able to set interventions within more challenging situations without resistance or difficulty.
Speech pathology practices for children living with ASD
Parents and caregivers can use 5 to 10-minute breaks to foster communication interventions and gradually increase the amount of time their children are learning up to 10 or 20 hours per week. Families and caregivers can do this by adding or stacking up new routines to the schedule of activities throughout the day or week.
Approaches for communication interventions can also vary by age group and the communication ability of the child. In general, it bodes well for parents and caregivers to create new opportunities for learning within routines that they already perform. This can be reinforced by using specific items and activities children are interested in which can encourage a child to engage with their communication partners.