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Johnny's Just a Late Talker

Even though autism is understood as a triad of impairments in communication skills, behaviors, and social ability and understanding many people tend to focus on the first problem. Language can be a caregiver's first clue that some part of the developmental trajectory is off course. However, many parents will also feel that boys speak later than girls and may even dismiss early delays as more of a later talker problem rather than a red flag for an autism spectrum disorder. Some children are indeed just late talkers and yet, how and when a child uses language can serve as a clue to not only communicative abilities but also social abilities. Language isn't just for ourselves, we have to use language with others and sometimes that is the most difficult part about verbal speech and autism. Some children with autism are using language and appear to have a good number of words and phrases but upon closer inspection the child isn't using these phrases functionally and may even what is known as echolalia. Other children with autism may have fantastic language abilities and yet have poor social use of language or pragmatics. And we may even have children who are very limited in their verbal skills or completely non-verbal; however, in the interest of using the least dangerous assumption it's always the best idea to assume the child has something to say but may need to say it in an alternative way. This section discusses how children may or may not use language and what are the options available to children who may not speak at all.

The lowdown on Speech Therapy
I think Speech Therapists (also known as SLPs) are basically just a gift from heaven. OK, so maybe not everyone is going to agree with that statement and certainly, not all SLPs are created equally and some are better than others. Speech therapists when they are on their game; are inventive, exciting for kids to play with, and can teach you a ton of information. The trick is to find one that ‘fits’ your child’s style. This is the case for any kind of therapist. Finding one that clicks with your child is the goal. This can take some trial and

Augmentative And Alternative Communication
Read more about Ewan's experience with augmentative communication in the new book Brains, Trains & Video Games:  Living The Autism Life now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  

A Little Word About Behaviors
Most of your experienced parents and professionals will talk about a child’s behaviors and what they are like. A person who is new to all of this is trying to figure out a truckload of information and is now trying to determine exactly what a ‘behavior’ is. Well, there are lots and lots of different kinds of behaviors that children on the Autism Spectrum can have and do. One kind of behavior is the meltdown. You may not have known the proper term when your child is completely freaking out in the Target parking lot and people are coming out of the stor

(AAC) Augmentative and Alternative Communication Links
AAC Intervention AAC Parents Google GroupGoogle Group that is for parents of children who use some form of AAC. Ability Research Abledata AbleNet ACOLUGListserv for adults who use AAC, parents of children who use AAC, and anyone who either works with AAC, or is inter

Ewan's Augmentative Communication Story
Read more about Ewan's journey with language in the new book Brains, Trains & Video Games:  Living The Autism Life now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.