Speech Pathology: Facts about Autism
Written by: Alaa
My name is Alaa Khalil. I graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a Masters in Communication Disorders. I currently work with both pediatric and adult patients who struggle with with various communication disorders. I love working on a multidisciplinary team where I get to individualize my patients treatment plans. The areas I am passionate about are: stuttering, apraxia, pragmatics, feeding therapy, and aphasia.
In light of Autism Awareness Month, Alaa has laid down important and helpful facts about autism.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect the areas of:
• Social interaction
• Emotional regulation
• Cognitive skills
People on the Autism spectrum can vary from severe to mild. What does that mean?
People with Severe Autism may have:
• Mental challenges
• Below average intelligence and communication skills
• Expressive and receptive language deficits
People with Mild Autism may have:
• Above average intelligence
• Above average expressive skills
• Social interaction deficits
What are the signs of having Autism?
Based on the National Autism Association, the following are early signs of Autism:
• Delayed expressive skills
• Child does not respond to their name (the child may appear deaf)
• Child does not point at objects or things of interest, or demonstrate interest
• Child does not pretend play
• Child avoids eye contact
• Child wants to be alone and plays by him/herself
• Child has difficulty understanding, or showing understanding, or other people’s feelings or their own
• Child repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
• Child gives unrelated answers to questions
• Get upset by minor changes