For a child with an autism spectrum disorder, successfully communicating with others - something most of us take for granted - can be a major challenge.
Effective communication is essential to social development and interaction with others. But a child on the spectrum may have trouble forming basic sounds and words, or developing a working vocabulary. Some simply repeat sounds without understanding what they mean (echolalia); others have unusual speech patterns, or have difficulty expressing themselves in a context that makes sense to others. Many on the spectrum also have trouble understanding the physical aspects of communication, such as facial expressions or hand gestures, that lend important meaning to the simplest of words.
Speech therapy can address a wide range of the types of communication problems children with autism experience. Speech therapists help their patients learn skills that will allow them to interact and communicate successfully with others. Methods may include basic training in making sounds, strengthening of muscles used for speech, vocabulary-building, alternate forms of communication, or a combination of these techniques and more.
Make your donation of $5 or more an ongoing gift by checking the "Make this a Monthly Gift" box and you will help provide speech therapy for children with Autism, each and every month.
Report from the Field
Notes from mothers of a child with autism:
"Thank you so much for the grant toward our child's medical expenses. You have no idea how much this gift is helping us this summer. With my husband unemployed right now we would not have been able to continue our child's treatment and therapies. Life is stressful enough with a child with autism, you have definitely made a difference in our lives. We are truly grateful."
"The grant has significantly helped our family in many ways. Most importantly it has allowed us to get his [David's] needed therapy (speech). It gives us hope that our son will progress and even though he will have challenges he can improve even though many have said he cannot." (Belinda Guitierrez, Mom of David, a Helping Hand grant recipient.)
National Autism Association responds to the most urgent needs of the autism community, providing real help and hope so that all affected can reach their full potential.
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