April is Autism Awareness Month!

14-6As we continue to learn more about autism, the number of children diagnosed with this developmental disorder continues to rise. The most recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that the prevalence of autism has risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States. Each April, organizations around the globe celebrate Autism Awareness Month, a campaign intended to raise public awareness of this disorder. In support of this campaign, Speech Associates of NY will dedicate the rest of the month to blogs focusing on Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental neurological disorder. Some of the hallmarks of ASD are decreased language and communication abilities, difficulty with social interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. The disorder refers to a “spectrum” because of how widely symptoms can range in their presentation and severity.

How can a Speech-Language Pathologist Help?

Because decreased communication is one of the most common symptoms of autism, speech-language therapy typically plays a large role in a child’s treatment. Although there is currently no cure for autism, therapeutic intervention can improve social and communication skills and can help improve a child’s quality of life. For some children, this may mean role-playing activities or learning to expand spoken language. For children with more severe communication deficits, this may mean learning an alternate means of communication, using pictures or other systems of expressing wants and needs. A speech-language pathologist will conduct an in-depth assessment of a child who has been diagnosed with autism to determine their personal strengths and weaknesses, and tailor therapy based on their particular interests and needs.

Check in with us again next week when we’ll continue our series on autism in support of Autism Awareness Month!

Do you or does someone you love have autism? Do you have questions about autism? Let us know your concerns, interests and stories in the comment section below.

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2014, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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