Attention Autism

toys

Finally we had an appointment for my autistic two and a half year old to see the complex needs speech and language team.  I was pretty disappointed to hear that they wanted to work on attention not speech.  At the time I couldn’t see the bigger picture all I wanted was for my child to speak, however it is impossible to teach communication to a child that is not paying you attention so this needs to be the starting point.

My first experience of Attention Autism was not a good one, I had been invited to a speech group at the local hospital that would run for four weeks and introduce Attention Autism. Well after sitting for an hour trying to hold my totally uninterested child down while the speech therapist pulled items out of a bucket I was not impressed.  A couple of years on and my son has built some great attention skills, as with most therapies for young children with autism it is tough at first and requires tons of patience from the adults, I found this one worth it. Continue reading “Attention Autism”

PECs – Picture Exchange Communication System (Phase One)

PECs cards

My son is almost four years old and I would class him as non-verbal. Unfortunately we have seen a number of regressions in relation to speech, we have periods where he has used a few single words but generally there is no speech.  At 2.5 he was diagnosed with autism but it was aged 2 that we started to engage with speech and language as it was clear he was delayed.

Our speech and language therapist was great (we were lucky), she explained that our son needed an alternative method of communication as it may be some time before his speech develops (assuming he will eventually speak).  The two most commonly used methods for children with autism are PECs and Makaton: Continue reading “PECs – Picture Exchange Communication System (Phase One)”

Speech and Language

Speech and language has become a huge part of my life over the last couple of years, my son is now three and a half and is non-verbal, he has started to speak three times but each time has regressed and we are currently back to no speech again.  My son has Autism and has complex speech and language delay, we currently use Picture Exchange Communication (PECs) as our main form of communication. My youngest son (one) is now starting to speak and all the skills I have learnt over the last couple of years are helpful for him too.  I plan to write many posts about speech and language but let’s start with some of the basics of speech and language and communication in autism. Continue reading “Speech and Language”