Speech therapy
Delayed speech development can have several reasons to it, so we need to start off with a one-on-one therapy in order to map up these reasons in detail. The therapy itself is preceded by a thorough evaluation.
Language is the main means of communication between people; it is through language that we make contact with others, express our thoughts, feelings and wishes, process experiences, formulate questions and plan actions. Language is so basic to each and every area of our daily lives, that any lacking aspect or delay in our child's speech development gets noticed right away.
Language is not something that we are born with – it is only the conditions to develop speech that we own at birth; being able to speak is the result of a long learning process. Without the support of the people around him/her, no child would be able to learn their mother tongue.
The speed of the child's progress during speech therapy might reveal further facts that support his/her autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The child might enjoy taking part in the therapeutic sessions and learns to cooperate with others. The therapist and the child will start to mutually adjust to each other and the child might start making progress in his/her mother tongue. However, the first thing the therapist might notice is that these children are not using all they have learned for the purpose of communication. They might say things once in a while whenever they feel like it and they might also carry out their tasks well. Nonetheless, they will not use any of the newly acquired language elements to build new relationships and to express their needs or desires. They might get upset when not understood; however, they will not do everything possible to make themselves understood.
The prerequisites of speech development: hearing, the urge to communicate, language input, environmental circumstances, movement and perception.
The significance of movement in speech development
The ability to articulate sounds and to form them into syllables and words is closely connected to certain movement patterns. Learning to speak therefore largely depends on the child's movement development. Speech especially requires well developing gross and fine motor activity and good movement perception.