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12545 Orange Drive – Suite 502
Davie, FL 33330
Phone: (954) 474-8048 | Fax: (954) 474-8145
Does your child have problems vocalizing what he/she wants or needs? Does he/she often communicate inappropriately or inaudibly?
Language and communication issues are problems associated with autism that the South Florida speech therapists at Breakthrough Therapy Services, serving Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Cooper City, Plantation, and throughout Broward County, are intimately familiar with.
No matter where they are on the autistic spectrum, virtually every child will be recommended for speech therapy. Statistics show that as many as one-fourth of children with autism may never speak. Although not every child with autism struggles with language, most of them do. Even autistic children on the high end of the spectrum who are extremely verbal may misuse or misunderstand language. For many of these children, talking with others can be difficult. They may have a hard time responding to other people’s words or even recognizing their own names.
Even if your child is not verbal, speech therapy can help provide communication skills to help him or her get along in the world. Speech therapy at Breakthrough Therapy Services is more than just teaching a child how to correctly pronounce words. Kimberly Bloom and her Fort Lauderdale speech pathology team use a variety of techniques — including exercises that teach language skills, symbolic play, and electronic devices—to help children with autism develop the skills needed to interact with others.
For instance, your autistic child may:
· Not talk at all
· Utter grunts, cries, or shrieks
· Hum or talk in a “sing-song” way
· Sound robotic in their speech
· Parrot words other people say
· Use an unexpressive tone of voice
The Success of Speech Therapy
In a recent assessment by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, two-thirds of preschoolers with autism and autism-related disorders gained significant communication skills after a speech and language intervention. And another recent study found that, when incorporated into a personalized program that also included occupational therapy, social skills development, and parent-focused instruction, speech and language therapy improves communication skills in children with autism.
Start Early for Best Results
It is NEVER too early to begin speech and language therapy for autistic or developmentally delayed children. In fact, many of our parents don’t even wait for a formal diagnosis. Research shows that early intervention—from birth to 3 years—can increase your child’s odds of communicating functionally. Intensive speech therapy, about 20 hours per week, seems to be the most effective.
Conversely, it is NEVER too late to begin speech and language therapy either. A recent research review found that more children with autism than previously thought can acquire language at age 5 or older. In addition, our Broward County speech therapists can teach your child to use symbols or other ways of communication beyond just verbal communication.
How Breakthrough Therapy Services Uses Speech Therapy
Not only do we work with autistic or developmentally delayed children to learn the mechanics of how to speak, we also teach them how to use language to communicate. This includes learning how to hold a conversation. It also includes tuning into both verbal and nonverbal cues — such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language — from other people.
Here at the Breakthrough Pediatric Speech and Occupational Therapy Center, we use cutting-edge, individualized programs to help your child with his/her specific communication problems. We will work closely with your child, their family and their school to develop a speech therapy program that will literally “break-through” language and speech barriers and allow them to communicate both verbally and nonverbally.
Speech therapy techniques might include:
· Electronic “talkers”
· Signing or typing
· Using picture boards with words
· Using sounds to which a person is over- or under-sensitive to expand and compress speech sounds
· Improving articulation of speech by massaging or exercising lips or facial muscles
· Having individuals sing songs composed to match the rhythm, stress, and flow of sentences
Benefits of Speech Therapy
What are the goals of our South Florida speech pathologists? At Breakthrough Therapy Services, we want to help autistic and developmentally challenged kids to:
· Develop conversational skills
· Know the appropriate time and place to communicate something
· Communicate in ways to develop relationships and friendships
· Be able to express feelings to family members
· Start a conversation without being prompted
· Exchange ideas
· Enjoy relationships, including communicating, playing and interacting with peers and family members
In conjunction with occupational therapy and behavior modification therapy, speech therapy can be a powerful tool to help your autistic or disabled child communicate. If you are looking for treatment for a child in need of speech or language therapy, occupational therapy, or if your child is living with a serious delay, disabilities, or Autism, contact Breakthrough Therapy Services of South Florida at (954) 474-8048. Contact our warm and friendly staff for a tour of our facility or to schedule your child’s evaluation today and be sure to bookmark our site and visit us for frequent updates.
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