As a parent or caregiver, you’re likely hypersensitive to every little thing related to your child.
Are they developing at the a rate appropriate for their age?
Is their speech developing at the “right” pace?
How well do they get along with other children?
If you start to notice issues regarding communication, behavior, or social skills it might be an indicator of autism spectrum disorder.
A diagnosis of autism can be a scary thing for parents, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are interventions you can take which will help ensure your child gets the skills they need to live a happy, fulfilling life.
Physical therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder can help them to develop the motor skills needed to live independently.
In addition, speech therapy for children can help hone communication and social skills.
If your child has autism spectrum disorder, we can help.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is a developmental disorder which results in issues with behavior, social skills, speech, and communication.
Although previously there were several terms used to describe disorders related to autism, in 2013 they were all merged under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorder.
Some signs of autism in each of these areas include:
Behavioral Skills Challenges
- Displaying hyper focused interest in a small number of topics or objects
- Repetitive behaviors and gestures
- Pickiness when it comes to food textures
- Unpredictable emotions including laughing, crying, or anger for no apparent reason
- Easily upset by loud sounds and some smells
- Difficulty switching between activities
- Uses self-stimulation or “stimming” through repetitive activities (such as spinning or rocking)
- Dislikes and upset by changes in routine
Social Skills Challenges
- Has trouble making and keeping friends
- Sharing toys and playing with other children.
- Difficulty with empathy
- Trouble knowing when to take their turn in a conversation
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Resistance to physical contact
- Trouble with conversations
- Difficulty understanding and using gestures
- May have trouble following directions
- Trouble learning to read and write or may read but may not understand what they are reading
- Has trouble using words to communicate what they want
- Repeats words and phrases
- Not talking or talking very little
- Lack of balance and coordination
- Experiences delays learning to walk
- Trouble with fine motor skills, such as buttoning a shirt
- Limited hand eye coordination
- Has trouble mimicking other people’s movements, such as performing actions to go with a song
Regardless, Early Intervention Is Key
If you notice your child displaying signs which could indicate autism spectrum disorder, seeking professional help early is important.
Early intervention speech therapy and pediatric physical therapy makes it easier for your child to overcome the bad habits they can develop.
These habits become more difficult to overcome the older your child gets.
In addition, early autism screening & evaluation in Washington DC can help you better understand your child’s unique needs.
Let’s have a look at the roles of speech therapists, and physical therapists, in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder.
How Can A Speech Therapist For Autism Help?
One of the major areas in which a person with autism spectrum disorder may experience challenges is communication and appropriate social skills.
A speech therapist may help a person with autism work on the following skills:
- Developing appropriate communication skills
- Knowing when to speak, and let others speak in conversations
- Improving reading and writing skills
- Learning to accept change
- Changing from one task to another
- Getting along with others
How Can A Pediatric Physical Therapist For Autism Help?
If your child has autism spectrum disorder, a physical therapist can help with issues related to motor delays and control.
One early predictor of autism spectrum disorder is delays in early movement skills.
At this stage, a physical therapist will use play to help your child develop motor skills.
Exercises will focus on developing coordination and strength, learning how to walk , and how to climb stairs safely.
Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today
If you’re facing a diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, know that you’re not alone.
By involving the right professionals early on, you can help ensure your child will develop the skills needed to live a full, rich, life.
We’re District Speech, and we offer both physical therapy and speech language therapy in Washington DC and the surrounding area.
Contact us today to learn more about our services, or to book a consultation.
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.