Every person with autism is different. All will have problems with communication and social skills but not in the same way. Autism is a spectrum disorder because it can cause mild problems, severe problems, or something in between.
Autism Spectrum Disorders affect children very differently based on the severity. We can help with the following areas that are typically impaired:
- Language use and understanding
- Social skills, also known as pragmatic language
- Self-regulation skills to carry over into all aspects of life (self-calming strategies, use of visual aids, use of visual schedules)
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Your child may need other ways to talk. Augmentative and alternative communication, or AAC, helps children who cannot talk or are very hard to understand. AAC includes:
- sign language
- pictures, photos, objects (low-tech)
- written words
- computers, tablets, or other electronic devices with speech-generating applications (hi-tech)
Most people who use AAC use a combination of AAC types to communicate. AAC can help many children communicate with others. Research shows AAC may improve a person’s verbalizations and overall expressive language.
Types of AAC
There are two main types of AAC—unaided systems and aided systems. You may use one or both types. Most people who use AAC use a combination of AAC types to communicate.
You do not need anything but your own body to use unaided systems. These include gestures, body language, facial expressions, and sign language.
An aided system uses some sort of tool or device. There are two types of aided systems—basic and high-tech. A pen and paper is a basic aided system. Pointing to letters, words, or pictures on a board is a basic aided system. Touching letters or pictures on a computer screen that speaks for you is a high-tech aided system.