Monday 2nd April 2012 marks ‘World Autism Awareness Day’ throughout the globe, officially declared by the United Nations “to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives” http://www.un.org/en/events/autismday/
In the UK, World Autism Awareness Day is being supported by numerous organisations, including the National Autistic Society, Education Scotland, Autistica, The Open University, Autism Initiatives UK and Ambitious about Autism, to name but a few. The Independent also published a supplement specifically about World Autism Awareness Day, which you can read online here:http://np.netpublicator.com/netpublication/n72246359
The National Autistic Society reported that events had been organised throughout the UK to celebrate the day. These included organised walks, activity and information evenings, photo exhibitions, coffee mornings, training days, consultations, musical screenings, craft fairs, fun days, theatre performances, Easter egg hunts, golf days and fundraisers. The sheer number and variety of events demonstrates how prevalent autistic spectrum disorder is amongst the UK population and subsequently how many lives are touched by an individual with autism.
Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder can present with speech and language difficulties, often characterised by:
- Repetitive or rigid language that may appear meaningless and out of context.
- Disordered language development.
- Reduced awareness of the appropriate use of language and non-verbal communication during interactions.
- Unusual tone of voice or rhythm and stress patterns in speech.
A comprehensive speech and language assessment can be conducted by a qualified Speech and Language Therapist who specialises in working with children with autism. Following this assessment the therapist will advise on what type of therapy may be suitable, and why. They will also be able to answer any questions about speech and language difficulties in autistic spectrum disorder.
In additon children on the Autistic Spectrum can benefit from input from an Occupational Therapist. Many children with ASD experience sensory processing disorders. A sensory integration trained therapist can help you understand what sensory stimulus your child is seeking e.g movement, smell, touch and also avoiding; loud noises, busy places, certain fabrics as examples.
A Arts Therapist can help to ‘follow your child’s lead’ during therapy and in doing so can often quickly find your child’s motivators and things that they can connect with. Art therapy, music therapy, play therapy and drama therapy can be combined by to really find out which mode of therapy really ‘grabs’ your child and encourages them to engage.
We always ensure that our team of skilled therapists can swap in and out of therapy with your child, ensuring that the approach which most motivates them, fulfills their current therapy needs and supports you the parents in seeing progress can be used at pertinent times throughout your child’s development. Saving you from re-telling your story to lots of different professionals, Integrated Treatment Services works as a unique team to understand your child’s needs as part of a team and to help support those therapy needs be met at the right time.
We also have educational and clinical psychologists accessible within the team, so should you find you need help moving forward a diagnosis or you need support to ensure their educational needs are being met, they are on hand as you need.
Clients are never too old for our team! We are happy to work with teenagers, young adults and older people with Autism, please just call us for a chat. We are here to help!
Sarah Bennington, April 2012
Written on behalf of Integrated Treatment Services. Integrated Treatment Services is a private Speech and Language Therapy service based in Leicestershire, the East Midlands and Southern England. It specialises in providing highly-skilled Speech and Language Therapists, but also associates with other therapeutic professionals, including Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists and Arts Therapists