SLPs helping children with autism communicate: Sharing interests to build social connections

[cheery music] KELLI: Can you
look at Paige’s face? How does she look? What feeling is
she having right now? CHANCE: She’s bored. KELLI: Bored.
Yeah, she’s bored. So, what do we need to do
to help her not be bored? So, a child with autism,
there’s a lot of different reasons
that they would come to see a speech pathologist. Usually with that diagnosis,
there’s some sort of a communication disorder. And so, they’re gonna
be coming in to see us to work on social communication. CHANCE: The deeper part
moves. It’s moving too deep. How I like this.
I can do…. KELLI: We often see
children with autism who have apraxia too. That can be a
subcomponent of the autism. The child’s brain knows what
it wants to say, but somewhere between the brain and the
mouth, the signals get crossed. We’re not just looking
for verbal communication. We’re looking for
a gestural system. We’re looking for pointing. We’re looking for can
they develop some signs that will help them. We’re looking for
that engagement. Are they looking at you?
Are they following you? Are they imitating you? So you know, communication
comes in so many forms. PAIGE: I wanna be blue,
not green! CHANCE: I want to be green. This one is mine. PAIGE: OK. KELLI: Nice job using
your words, Chance. Good job, you guys. When you see that where their
frustration decreases because they were able to say something
to a parent or to a therapist and get what they wanted,
or what the, or the person understands what
they were trying to say, I think there’s nothing
more rewarding than that. KELLI: Chance, we’re
gonna finish up our emotions on the computer here. Whenever I start therapy, I always try to make it
the child’s agenda, not as much my agenda. And I’m gonna work my
goals into their agenda. And that’s just a
philosophy I really believe in. If you have a child that’s
interested in what you’re doing, you’re gonna make a lot
more gains with them than if it’s something
you want them to do and it’s not in
their interest zone. KELLI: We’re starting
youngest to oldest. So, who’s youngest? CHANCE: Paige.
KELLI: And who’s oldest? CHANCE: You.
KELLI: [laughs] My dream goal for
all kids that I see, or for all kids in this world,
is that they have a voice, that they have a way to
communicate their thoughts and their needs and their
ideas, and that those thoughts and ideas and needs are heard
and that they’re valued. CHANCE: How much things can be
inside the chest in Minecraft? KELLI: I don’t know.
Do you know? CHANCE: I don’t know too.
KELLI: Yeah. [cheery music]

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