How Does Autism Affect Speech
Communication usually begins before the child learns to talk.
Babies show interest in their surroundings, listen to the sound of human voices.;
They pay attention to peoples faces and follow them with their eyes and smile at them. These are the first communication of a child.
This may not be the case for children with autism. Communication for those on the spectrum occurs differently and often times more slowly.;
Children with ASD struggle with developing language skills.;
They may not understand what others say to them.;
Nonverbal communication could also be an issue for these individuals as they may not grasp the concepts of gestures and facial expressions, and avoid eye contact.
Since ASD affects the individuals communication and language skills, the disorder greatly affects speech skills.;
The ability to use language and communicate depends on the intellectual and social development level of the child with autism.
While some may not be able to communicate through speech or language, others could have limited speaking skills they may use in daily life.;
Children with autism may also have a rich vocabulary and talk about their favorite topics in depth.;
Some have difficulty understanding the meaning of words, even though they use them.;
Children with ASD may not be able to understand or interpret the tone in speech.;
These make it difficult for the individuals to interact with others using speech.
Signs Of A Speech Delay
If a baby isnt cooing or making other sounds at 2 months, it could be the earliest sign of a speech delay. By 18 months, most babies can use simple words like mama or dada. Signs of a speech delay in older toddlers are:
- Age 2: doesnt use at least 25 words
- Age 2 1/2: doesnt use unique two-word phrases or noun-verb combinations
- Age 3: doesnt use at least 200 words, doesnt ask for things by name, hard to understand even if you live with them
- Any age: unable to say previously learned words
A speech delay may mean that their timetable is a little different and theyll catch up. But speech or language delays can also tell something about overall physical and intellectual development. Here are some examples.
What Is The Difference Between Autism And Autism Spectrum Disorder
The term autism was changed to autism spectrum disorder in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association. ASD is now an umbrella term that covers the following conditions:
- Autistic disorder.
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified .
- Asperger syndrome.
People with ASD have trouble with social interactions and with interpreting and using non-verbal and verbal communication in social contexts. Individuals with ASD may also have the following difficulties:
- Inflexible interests.
- Insistence on sameness in environment or routine.
- Repetitive motor and sensory behaviors, like flapping arms or rocking.
- Increased or decreased reactions to sensory stimuli.
How well someone with ASD can function in day-to-day life depends on the severity of their symptoms. Given that autism varies widely in severity and everyday impairment, the symptoms of some people arent always easily recognized.
Recommended Reading: Is Autism A Social Issue
Einstein Syndrome: Characteristics Diagnosis And Treatment
Understandably, parents get nervous when their child isnt reaching key developmental milestones at the same time as their peers. Theres one milestone in particular that makes many parents nervous: learning to speak.
Most experts recommend using development timelines as a general guide rather than concrete evidence of developmental delays. Still, as a parent its hard not to be concerned if you think your child isnt talking like other kids their age.
If your child has difficulty with speaking, it might be considered a speech delay. Depending on the severity, delays in speech can range from not talking at all to difficulty pronouncing words or even having trouble forming sentences.
Most people assume that a language delay or speech disorder will have a long-term impact on a childs ability to excel in school and beyond. But a lesser-known condition called Einstein syndrome proves this isnt always the case.
What Are The Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Signs of ASD range from mild to severely disabling, and every person is different. The following signs are considered to be red flags that indicate your young child may be at risk for autism. If your child shows any of the following signs, please get in touch with your childs healthcare provider to discuss a referral for an autism evaluation.
The signs include the following:
- Your child doesnt respond to their name being called at all or responds inconsistently.
- Your child doesnt smile widely or make warm, joyful expressions by the age of 6 months.
- Your child doesnt engage in smiling, making sounds and making faces with you or other people by the age of 9 months.
- Your child doesnt babble by 12 months.
- No back-and-forth gestures such as showing, pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
- No words by 16 months.
- No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months.
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.
Also Check: How To Tell Your Kid They Have Autism
What Are Some Post
Treatment would involve a speech language therapist working with a child. Ideally, it would involve working with the whole family to train and teach parents and caregivers strategies to use at home. Intervention would occur once or twice weekly but the caregivers would work with the child every day.
Action Steps To Take Whether Its A Speech Delay Vs Autism
But, I have some good news. After working with hundreds, if not thousands of children, as a Behavior Analyst, I learned that no matter, if it is autism or just something like a speech delay, putting the same proven ABA strategies in place can help increase talking and decrease tantrums. Ive also worked with kids where I know weve prevented the diagnosis of autism or turned it around so quickly that they caught up before kindergarten.
So, here are the 3 things Id recommend you do if youre concerned about your young child, who is either speech delayed, showing some signs of autism, maybe they already have a diagnosis of autism but are waiting for treatment, or they could be waiting for an autism evaluation. And even if it is just a speech delay, learning these 3 things can help you and your child get started today.
Stop worrying about autism and take action today to see if its;autism, ADHD or typical toddler tantrums!
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What Causes A Speech And Language Delay
The most common causes of speech delay include:
- hearing loss
- Elective mutism .
Living in a bilingual home also may affect a childs language and speech. The childs brain has to work harder to interpret and use 2 languages. So it may take longer for these children to start using one or both languages theyre learning. Its not unusual for a bilingual child to use one language for a while.
What Are Some Common Reasons Or Causes For Late Talking
Late talking is something thats common to many different diagnoses. Those with a known genetic disorder like Down syndrome or with autism are late talkers. But children who are late talkers are those that are typically developing normally. In other words, they have typical hearing, vision, motor, and cognitive skills. Everything else seems to be fine, but for some reason, language is an area that is delayed.
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What Is A Speech Delay
One thing that may surprise you: a speech delay and a language delay are two totally different things. I know that surprised me because I often see them used interchangeably. Put in the simplest terms, a speech delay has to do with problems forming the words that come out of your childs mouth, while a language delay has to do with understanding the words going into his ears.
Your child could understand every word in the dictionary yet still have difficulty saying cat. Likewise, your child could theoretically say words as complex as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, yet have a problem understanding the word cat. Some children can have problems with both. Since were focusing on speech delays today, well talk a bit more about that.
Its important to remember that your child can outgrow a speech delay. Yes, he may need therapy for several years, but eventually hell graduate. Later, many kids have no tell-tale lingering signs that they ever had a delay! If you think about it, that makes complete sense, since the word delay itself means late, or slow. When you are delayed by traffic, you still reach your destination eventually, right?
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Previously Called Autism And Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the following:
- Difficulties in social communication differences, including verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Deficits in social interactions.
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities and sensory problems
Many of those with ASD can have delayed or absence of language development, intellectual disabilities, poor motor coordination and attention weaknesses.
Read Also: Does Autism Worsen With Age
Lets Summarize How To Tackle A Speech And Language Development Delay
So, in summary, if you are concerned about your child or any toddler that you know and you cant tell if its a speech delay vs autism, Step #1, learn typical milestones. Google the CDC website, learn the milestones, compare them to what the child is doing. Step #2, talk to your childs pediatrician and their preschool teacher and get a screening done. Start early intervention as soon as possible. And step #3 is you need to learn about ABA. And one of the best places to start is by going to marybarbera.com/toddler. Click the link below to get more information today.
And if you like this video blog, I would love it if you would leave me a comment, give me a thumbs up, and share the video with others who might benefit. Dont forget, you can download my free toddler guide called, Is It Autism, ADHD, or Typical Toddler Tantrums? 3 Steps You Can Take Today Instead of Worrying at , and I hope to see you right here next week.
Stop worrying about autism and take action today to see if its;autism, ADHD or typical toddler tantrums!
Here Are The Telltale Signs Of Autism
- The child is typically slow in responding or shows no response to parents or caregivers calling their name.
- The toddler may not gesture towards objects or people.
- They may show a slower rate of language development. A one-year-old may coo and babble during the first year and then stop entirely.
- There may be signs of repeated words and phrases .
- Most of the time, the child may be speaking in single words only.
- They tend to use words and phrases that seem out of place or have meaning only the child and their caregivers understand.
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Speech Delay Or Autism
Many parents whose children exhibit speech and language delays are immediately concerned that their child may have autism. In early intervention, we cannot diagnose a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder , we can only tell a parent if their child is showing developmental delays and if we see certain red flags that may indicate a child needs further evaluation to rule out ASD.
As an independent evaluator, I have seen many children for speech only evaluations who exhibited red flags for autism. Many of the red flags were not related to speech. Conversely, I have seen many children whose parents ask me if their child may have autism and its pretty clear to me that they dont, they simply have a developmental delay in speech.
As a therapist, its again important to distinguish that I cannot make a diagnosis of autism. This needs to be done by a licensed professional, such as a child psychologist, psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician. So what are the red flags that I am seeing that some parents miss? Many times its their social skills and play skills! Or lack of these skills.
Because parents continually hear about autism in the news, many associate the simple lack of speech or delayed speech with having autism. While this can be one feature associated with ASD, there are many other signs that parents can be aware of in order to determine if their child is simply speech delayed or if it indeed may be something more.
Are Siblings At Greater Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
The truth is that genetics do play a role in autism. When one child is diagnosed with ASD, the next child to come along has about a 20% greater risk of developing autism than normal. When the first two children in a family have both been diagnosed with ASD, the third child has about a 32% greater risk of developing ASD.
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How Early Can Signs Of Autism Be Detected
Studies conducted on ASD have shown that the disorder can be diagnosed as early as 14 months.;
Autism spectrum disorder usually appears in the early ages of the individual.
There are certain milestones that children hit around certain times in their first years.;
For instance, before they turn 1 year of age, babies respond when spoken to and use simple gestures like shaking head. This may not be the case for children with autism.
This information makes the first year of an infant crucial in terms of early diagnosis of the disorder.;
Children on the autism spectrum show developmental differences compared to their neurotypical peers.;
These differences can especially be noticed in the social and language skills of the child.;
Although every child develops at different rates and stages, these milestones should be observed in order to see if the child has autism or not.
Early diagnosis would allow caregivers to provide the most suitable interventions and training.
Also, to equip the child with skills they will need in their daily lives.
Although it is quite a difficult process, early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder would provide a clarity about what to provide the child.;
The disorder can be detected really early within the first two years itself.;;
However,; sometimes the symptoms are missed and the child is not diagnosed until they are teens or even adults.;
Sometimes children are misdiagnosed. Children with autism spectrum disorder could have other related diagnoses.
How Do Speech Delays Differ From Autism
Typical childhood development, even before a childs first words are spoken, generally follows similar stages. In their toddler years children start experimenting with their voice by making babbling and cooing sounds. They use a variety of nonverbal language to communicate their needs and establish strong social connections, such as making eye contact, pointing, and gesturing. Overtime, they begin to learn sounds and use them to form their first words. Eventually, as they continue to associate communication with positive results , they start to string words together in phrases and acquire more complex linguistic abilities.
A child that is speech or language delayed typically follows the same developmental patterns as their peers, but is slower to reach these milestones. However, they are still strongly motivated by social responses, like hugs and smiles. They desire to build strong social bonds with their parents and peers, respond positively to attention, and are inclined to mimic the actions of people around them.
In addition to speech and language delay, children with autism may experience additional challenges related to their communication, socialization, and behavior. These can disrupt their ability to build meaningful social connections and relationships with people. These can include:
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Whats Typical For A 3
A typical 3-year-old can:
- use nouns, adjectives, and verbs in three- and four-word sentences
- form plurals
- ask questions
- tell a story, repeat a nursery rhyme, sing a song
People who spend the most time with a toddler tend to understand them best. About 50 to 90 percent of 3-year-olds can speak well enough for strangers to understand most of the time.
Does A Late Talker Mean Autism
Its becoming more and more common for late-talking children to be labeled prematurely as autistic, but the reality is that a late-talker does not automatically mean that they have autism.
To learn more about the commonly thought about relationships between autism and speech delay in children, check out;our article;dedicated to the subject.
This is a reasonable conclusion to jump to on the surface because while not all later talkers have autism, nearly all children with autism are, in fact, late-talkers.
That means if a child is autistic, they will likely be slower to start speaking than one who isnt on the spectrum, but a late talker does not have to be on the autistic spectrum; it doesnt go both ways.
There is a whole slew of potential reasons your child may seem to have a speech delay other than autism.
Continue reading to learn some of the most common causes of being a late talker that dont have to do with autism.
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How Do You Diagnose A Late Talker
In terms of development, language and cognition are so related to each other that what we have to do is look at cognitive skills that are not related to their language skills. A way to test a babys cognitive skills, for instance, is to look at their problem-solving skills and play skills how they can do things like matching pictures or putting shapes together to do a puzzle. Those things dont really require language in terms of saying anything or listening to language, but they give us an idea of a childs ability to learn things and take information from their environment. If their cognitive skills are in the average range but their language is significantly delayed that leads us to believe the underlying problem is with language skills.