As we finish up April and Autism Awareness Month, we share with you some strategies for autism therapy at home. Since the early 1970’s the United States has recognized April as Autism Awareness Month and autism advocacy groups take this special opportunity to educate the public about autism and related issues within the autism community. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. They are characterized by varying degrees of difficulties in social interaction, verbal and non -verbal communication and repetitive behaviors. ASD affects over 2 million people in the United States and tens of millions worldwide. Rates have increased 10-17% annually in recent years, with no established explanation.
As we discussed in an earlier blog, Apraxia of speech in children, or Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder where the child has a problem saying sounds, syllables and words. She knows what she wants to say, but her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. Many children are able to hear the words, and are able to understand what they mean, but they can’t turn what they hear into the fine-motor skill of combining consonants and vowels to form words. Fortunately, apraxia of speech in children is usually treatable with appropriate techniques.
Easter is an excellent time of year to work on speech therapy at home with your kids. The colors of the trees, smell of fresh blooming flowers, chirping of the birds are all excellent ways to engage your child’s senses. But how about using an Easter Egg as an inexpensive speech therapy tool? Yes, both a real egg and a colorful, plastic Easter egg! These eggs can provide an opportunity for you to work on socialization, articulation and language skills with your child in a variety of ways, and have fun together as a family.
Did you know that some of our old favorite board games are also great speech therapy tools? Yes, that’s right! You can help improve articulation and speech skills while enjoying quality time with your child. As we finish up Spring Break, (or some of us are just beginning), we are sharing with you some of our favorite classic children’s games that can also be used to teach new speech skills. The games that we have listed provide good opportunities for meaningful language, speech and social learning.
Hint hint…also a great addition to the Easter Basket!
As we celebrate National Autism Awareness month, we’d like to share with you ideas for activities that help support children with autism. Autism is an increasingly more common neurological condition that affects brain development. As such, children diagnosed with autism have more difficulty socializing with others, effectively communicating and responding appropriately to the environment around them. Are there activities that you can do with your child to help encourage effective communication and engagement? Yes, read on!
If your child has autism, you know that it affects each child differently. Children with autism possess a wide variety of skills, strengths, and needs. In addition to individualized therapy, there are simple, everyday activities that parents, teachers and caregivers can do to help support children with autism. We’ve put together a list of materials and fun activities that encourage social skills, and enhance communication for children with autism.
What kinds of activities and games are best? An article in Science Daily, discussed the importance of play in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). “Children with ASD chose to engage in play that provided strong sensory feedback, cause-and-effect results, and repetitive motions,” said Kathy Ralabate Doody, Ph.D., assistant professor of exceptional education at SUNY Buffalo State. Any opportunity to explore colors, shapes, textures and sensory experiences can help stimulate attention and create a sense of fun!