One of the trademarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is communication challenges. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 25-30 percent of those with ASD never develop functional language or are minimally verbal.
The word “autism” originates from the Greek word “autos” meaning “self.” Those with ASD often seem self-absorbed or seem to exist in their own private world. Most will have trouble communicating and interacting with others.
May is also the month we observe Better Speech and Hearing Month, which raises awareness about hearing health and communication disorders, while honoring those who provide treatment to the people impacted by them.
At Flatrock, many of our residents with ASD face challenges with communication, ranging from being completely nonverbal to trouble with communication in social situations.
Some of the ways we can mitigate communication challenges with those with ASD include:
- Teaching gestures and sign language to those who have not developed verbal language skills
- Providing visual information: Many with ASD respond well to visual information, so picture boards and other visual tools can be helpful.
- Speech pathology can help improve speech patterns for verbal persons with ASD.
Our Flatrock staff members are trained to help residents overcome or minimize communication challenges, so they can reach their full potential and become as independent as possible.