Asperger Syndrome: How a Speech-Language Pathologist Can Help

Last week we discussed some of the basics of Asperger syndrome, a type of disorder on the autistic spectrum that can affect social functioning. Since those affected by Asperger syndrome typically have no difficulty with language skills per se, it might seem odd that a speech-language pathologist may be involved in therapy. However, there are several aspects of this disorder which may affect communication as a whole, and can be improved with the help of professional speech-language therapy.

                One common difficulty for those who have Asperger syndrome is issues with non-verbal communication. It’s been said that up to 80% of communication is accomplished non-verbally. Gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and many other aspects of non-verbal communication play a very significant role in how we express ourselves and understand others. Those who have Asperger syndrome often have difficulty mastering these forms of communication, as well as recognizing them in others. This can make day-to-day interactions difficult and pave the way for misunderstandings, miscommunications, and social difficulties. By working with a speech-language pathologist, those with Asperger syndrome can increase their awareness of these actions in others, and improve their ability to interpret them. In addition, they may learn ways to incorporate non-verbal communication skills into their own speech if they so choose.

                Another aspect of Asperger syndrome that speech-language pathologists can affect is social thinking. Many people with Asperger syndrome do not innately grasp and utilize unspoken social “rules” that others take for granted. Next week, we’ll take a look at an article outlining how “social thinking” ability can be increased in children with Asperger syndrome to help ease functioning in school and at home.

If you or someone you love has a problem with speech, language, or communication, contact Speech Associates of NY today for an evaluation. One of our trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help you on the road to better speech and communication. Call us at 917-841-2965 or visit us on the web: www.speechassociatesofny.com

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