Autism Spectrum Disorder
There are a number of diagnoses that have been lumped together into one. Aspberger’s Syndrome, autism, Pervasive Developmental Delay – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) – these are all now lumped under the heading of “Autism Spectrum Disorder”. Students with these diagnoses tend to be behind academically and socially. They often have poorly developed social skills and lack “common sense” or the ability think about cause and effect or the consequences of their actions. As with any spectrum, the symptoms range from mild to severe in any given area. For example, a person might have mildly impaired social skills but experience significant delays in reading comprehension. Many of these students respond well to the methodologies we use to remediate learning disorders – reading accuracy, spelling, language comprehension and expression, math, and spatial thinking.
One of our former students came to us with the diagnosis of Autism – high functioning. He was a very bright young man but struggled to “read between the lines” and understand the nuances of our language. He interpreted everything literally and was unable to see the figurative perspective. Fables, for example, were particularly troublesome for him. Metaphors and idioms were also tricky pieces of language for him to understand. We spent quite a bit of time with him imaging these types of language passages and exploring the literal and figurative ways to see them. It became easier for him to think flexibly – see a situation from more than one perspective – after a course of treatment.
Parents of children with Autism Spectrum diagnoses tell us that after a course of treatment for language comprehension their children follow conversations better, develop better social skills, begin to appreciate a good joke, and start asking relevant questions about what they are learning.
Individuals with autism can benefit from speech therapy to address communication challenges including the development of appropriate social interaction, receptive and expressive language skills.
If you’d like to know more about how we might be able to help, give us a call.