Speech Pathology: Facts about Autism

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

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