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Multidisciplinary Programs

Autism.

Monkey Mouths Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder that can affect a child’s development. Autism is a vast spectrum and includes a variety of different characteristics including difficulties with social language, delayed language development, delayed motor development, difficulties with sensory processing, or restricted and repetitive behaviors. No child with autism is the same and each child will benefit from a unique therapy plan and therapy techniques that fit their specific needs. When working to increase communication skills and developmental skills, early intervention is a key component.

Monkey Mouths Autism

Feeding Therapy Services

Children with ASD often experience sensory aversions, which can contribute to choosing which foods a child will eat. A child with autism may have a diet that is more limited, will exclude foods of a certain texture, look or smell, and may demonstrate tantrums when a preferred food is not available. Children with autism often thrive on routines and introducing new foods or new mealtime routines can often cause distress for both the child and the family.

Feeding therapy techniques used at Monkey Mouths to help expand a child’s diet may include:

Monkey Mouths, Feeding Services

Language Therapy Services

Children with autism also exhibit delayed receptive and expressive language skills. Each child on the autism spectrum may exhibit different receptive and expressive language abilities. Young children on the autism spectrum may lose words they previously said (referred to as regression) or not use any words to communicate. Children with autism may communicate in repetitive phrases or “scripts.” Older children with autism may have difficulty participating in conversations with peers including asking questions or introducing themselves.

Monkey Mouths Autism

Younger Children

With younger children, a speech pathologist can work with a child to increase their ability to communicate whether through gestures, sign language, verbal words and/or an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) device. Our speech pathologists will also work with the child’s family to teach them how to model language throughout their daily routines, how to use sign language if needed, or how to effectively use an AAC device to help their child’s progress.

Older Children

With older children, speech pathologists can work on social skills with both peers and other adults. Speech pathologists can work on enhancing a child’s communication skills in conversation or on increasing their ability to use spontaneous sentences to communicate and express their emotions. Children with autism may have difficulty expressing their emotions which can result in tantrums or increased frustration. Additionally, a speech therapist can help a child with autism work on higher level language concepts such as inferences, reading comprehension, figurative language or sarcasm.

speech Therapy Techniques

Depending on your child’s needs, a variety of supports and therapy techniques can be used to increase communication, increase verbal language, enhance social communication and/or increase spontaneous language.

Typical therapy techniques or supports that are used at Monkey Mouths include:

Specially Trained speech therapists

We have therapists with specialized training in helping children with autism expand their communication skills.

These trainings include:

Verbal Apraxia

The latest studies suggest that up to 65% of autistic children also have verbal apraxia. Our therapists at Monkey Mouths are trained in the latest techniques in the treatment of apraxia.

Monkey Mouths Autism

Audiology Services

If your child is presenting with a speech or language delay, it is essential that a complete hearing evaluation be conducted because hearing plays a critical role in the development of speech and language development. Our audiology team at Monkey Mouths can conduct this assessment to determine if any hearing concerns are present. This hearing evaluation will allow our speech pathologist and/or occupational therapist to differentiate between a delay related to autism vs those influenced by a hearing loss.

Monkey Mouths Autism

Occupational Therapy Services

Children with autism often display deficits across various areas of development that may include fine motor skills, gross motor skills, visual perceptual/motor skills, sensory processing, and self-care abilities. These deficits can impact their ability to process and interpret information from their surroundings, attend to tasks, and carry out daily activities. Occupational therapy services help build skills in the areas listed above so children with autism can engage successfully in their environment and complete everyday tasks.

Occupational therapists specialize in creating unique, individualized, and holistic treatment plans to encourage development and independence. Often children with autism display great strengths in attention to detail, visual skills, and memory. Occupational therapists strive to utilize a child’s strengths to create interventions to meet the child’s specific goals and promote increased participation in meaningful activities.

Occupational Therapy techniques

Typical therapy techniques used at Monkey Mouths during an occupational therapy session may include:

Specially Trained occupational therapists

Typical therapy techniques used at Monkey Mouths during an occupational therapy session may include:

We have therapists at Monkey Mouths with specialized training in helping children with autism maximize their potential for success and independence. These trainings include:

A'miya’s Never Say Never Story:

A’Miya was diagnosed with severe autism when she was 2 years old. At that time, the doctor told A’Miya’s parents that she would never talk. The family asked themselves, “How could you possibly know that a 2-year-old will never talk?” A’Miya started in-home therapy immediately, but progress was slow to start. The speech pathologist told the family that A’Miya would never talk, and she recommended an Augmentative Communication Device (AAC). A’Miya received her first AAC device when she was 4. Soon after, the family transitioned to Monkey Mouths for ST and OT because they felt A’Miya’s therapy would be more structured if taken out of the home and into a clinic setting. 

A’Miya began working with Miss Ashley for OT and Miss Alicia for ST. A’Miya learned to use AAC to communicate and her verbal language began to explode….. On A’Miya’s 9th birthday week, mom suggested that A’Miya take Miss Ashley and Miss Alicia cupcakes to celebrate. A’Miya said, “I don’t want to take Miss Ashley and Miss Alicia cupcakes today.” Her mom said, “Why?” A’Miya’s response, “My birthday is tomorrow. I want to take them cupcakes tomorrow!”

Monkey Mouths Autism Testimony