So you’ve gotten an Autism diagnosis, the question now is what supports might help your child?
Who are some professionals you may want on your child’s team? And why might you want them on your team?
Speech Language Pathologist
Speech-Language Pathologist (sometimes referred to as Speech therapists) are professionals that work with Autistic children on their understanding of language, language use, and pronunciation.
They support children that:
- Are minimally speaking
- Are hard to understand
- Use scripts to communicate
- Have troubles following directions
- Have grammatical errors
Overall, Speech Language Pathologists support children that have troubles sharing their ideas, making their meaning known and meeting their daily needs through language
Where to find a Speech Language Pathologist?
Occupational therapists are professionals that often work with Autistic children with a focus on play skills, learning strategies, and self-care. Occupational Therapists also play a huge role in helping to understand and manage sensory profiles and needs.
They work on:
- Supporting a child in interacting with their environment
- Eating, feeding and swallowing
- Getting dressed
- Using the bathroom
- Fine motor skills: writing, coloring, and cutting with scissors
For more information, visit this document on Occupational Therapy and Autism created by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.
Where to find an Occupational Therapist?
Physical therapists are professionals that work with Autistic children to help them develop both basic and gross motor movements. These movements support children in playing and learning games, sports, and various physical activities.
They work on:
- Play skills
- Running, walking, hopping, jumping
- Motor imitation skills
- Body and safety awareness
- Daily routines in the home, community, and school.
For more information regarding Physical Therapy and Autism visit either link below:
Where to find a Physical Therapist?
Things to keep in mind when finding a professional.
Not all professionals are the same, you need to find one who’s style and beliefs you agree with.
Some points to think about when finding a professional to support your child:
What does their therapy look like?
- Is it more structured activities completed while sitting at a desk or table? Or is it flexible and done through play anywhere around the room? Which would work best for your child?
- Is the professional making all the decisions and coming up with all of the activities (clinician led) or is the professional following the interests and motivations of the child (child led)
Are their practices neurodiversity affirming?
Do they respect bodily autonomy?
What is their professional area of interest/ passion?
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