Speech Therapy for My Autistic Daughter

Updated on October 28, 2010
C.H. asks from Charlotte, NC
5 answers

I have a 4 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Autism at age 3. She is non verbal though they said she was high functioning. She does not sign. She says a few key words (one word at a time) just when she asks for something she needs. She takes one hour and a half OT in school and one hour speech Therapy per week. She is very visual. she picked most of her words through pictures. Is what she is taking at school enough therapy for her? or she needs more than that !!. I have been trying to help her say 2 to 3 word sentences but with no success. I am worried that she will keep communicating with us this way all her life. I don't see much improvement in her speech. What shall I do?

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answers from Raleigh on

You might want to consider joining a yahoo group for autism where you can get advice from other parents in your situation.



answers from Raleigh on

I would not totally rely on the school system to fulfill your daughter's speech needs.

My three-year-old son was just diagnosed with mild autism a couple of months ago. Though he actually speaks pretty well, I am taking him to a private speech therapist one hour a week. This therapist is much better about showing me what she's doing and telling me how I can help my son at home. I have only met the school therapist once, and I know she typically works with the children in group settings. While I'm sure the school has to be helping in some way, I see the biggest difference from private speech therapy.

Also, I am looking at possibly finding a social skills group for my son to attend periodically.

Autism is a confusing process, and I'm still figuring out what to do. I hope you find a good plan for your daughter.



answers from Wilmington on

Try to get into as much therapy as possible. See if she is eligible for therapy 2x weekly. I am mom to two autisitc angels, and they have come so far in the four years since their dx.

Also, let her watch interactive age oriented television shows that show her a picture of something (like a ball or a toy) then say the word. PBS, Sprout, and Nick jr are wonderful most of the time.

There is a website, www.zacbrowser.com that is especially designed by a grandfather for his autistic grandson (yes, the little guy's name is Zac). I have it downloaded on my kids' computer. It has stories, games, and is very easy to navigate. Games range from matching to finding simple ingredients in recipies. You can create colouring pages, and do so much more.

Another website is www.pbskids.org Go to the original site www.pbs.org to get as much out of the kids site (get inside info on the kids site and how to get the ones that would help your little girl)

I own an autism support website at care2.com that is open to all. Questions, venting, comparisons, reviews of diets, products, therapies are encouraged. I do ask that if you are selling something autism related, to let me know, because I want to keep things like that to one thread, so those looking for such products do not have to hunt through alot of threads.

My site is: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/autismreality
You are not alone. Look for offline support groups in your area, or start one in a neutral place, like a park or restaurant. If your little girl's teacher could help with the support group, perhaps her fellow students' parents would like to join the support group. Meet once or twice weekly in person, then have a forum online on the weeks you do not meet in person. Have playdates with the kids, that way the interaction between the kids can be monitored.

You should have an IEP team (Individual Educational Plan--I think). It should contain you, your child's teacher, principal, guidance councellor, and sometimes speech therapist. Discuss concerns with them, see if you can get your little girl at least one more session either in schoool or out of school. I think she is not eligible for in home therapy, but check your local guidelines. Try your local Health Dept, ask your daughter's teacher and/or other IEP team members.

I know this is long, but I hope I helped. One more thing: Go with your gut instinct about your daughter. YOU know her best, and see how she is at home and out and about. However, be willing to listen to ideas, suggestions and comments from the team. You and IEP should be a team, working for one goal: The progresses of your daughter to the best of everyone's abilities.

Good luck.




answers from Philadelphia on

Have you talked with her therapist? I am assuming you have her in school. If you think she needs more then find out what your insurance covers then get her to an OT and speech. Kids with Autism are visual learners so it isn't unusual that picture cards help her. My daughter has Autism and was diagnosed at age 4, she didn't speak much then as the received speech therapy she talked more and is easier to understand. Keep up with the picture cards and if you think she needs more therapy get it for her.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Are you involved with her speech therapy in school? If not, maybe consider sitting in on a few sessions and learning what and how they are teaching your daughter so you can continue the same processes at home. I don't know much about autism, however, my youngest child was in speech therapy through our public school system for 3 full years. The first two years, she went two hours, two days every week (totaling 4hours/week), and one year of only one hour per week. My thought would be to just get as involved as you can, let her pathologist know your concerns and ask her professional advice.

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