Caregiving for autistic children involves a wealth of different tasks. This includes spending time with them socially each day and helping them with schoolwork. You’re there to support them so they can live the happiest, healthiest life possible!
Speech therapy can be a critical piece of that puzzle. There are many benefits in speech therapy for autism that could be life-changing for the child in your care.
Benefits of Speech Therapy for Autism?
Communication can be a major struggle for autistic children. Speech therapy can help an autistic child learn to communicate and engage with other people more easily. It will likely cover some of the following areas, depending on the needs of the child:
- Non-verbal communication, such as gestures, digital devices, and other non-verbal communication tools
- Body language, such as telling if another person is joking or serious, when it’s okay to join a conversation, and other subtle physical signals that autistic children might not pick up on
- Asking and answering questions
- Speech pragmatics, such as understanding social niceties and idioms
- Prosody, which refers to vocal sounds like the pitch going up when asking a question
- Conversation skills, such as back-and-forth exchanges and attention skills
- Understanding abstract concepts
- Social skills, such as the ability to ask and answer questions, standing at an appropriate distance from a conversational partner, or assessing the atmosphere of a conversation
Can Caregivers Provide Speech Therapy at Home?
While caregivers can support the speech therapy for autism at home, the bulk of the work requires someone to be trained and licensed in speech therapy.
To become a speech therapist, you would need to complete a Bachelor’s degree, followed by a specialist Master’s degree, and then finally apply for a license to practice.
Nonetheless, if an autistic child in your care is undertaking speech therapy, the caregiver, or parent, can certainly ask the therapist for ideas relating to at-home speech therapy for autism that they can practice. Speech therapy is usually conducted in weekly or biweekly sessions, but the more the child practices, the better the results will be. Plus, you can make speech therapy fun through games or other suggestions from the therapist to help the child engage that much more.
For more information on how to best support a loved one with autism through PCA services, why not speak to a member of the Best Care team?
We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about where to begin!