Autism Awareness Month: Sensory Issues and Social Awareness

Walter_de_Maria_Vertikaler_ErdkilometerApril as Autism Awareness Month! To support this campaign and help raise awareness, we’re dedicating our blogs this month to issues in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Today, we’ll talk about how a speech-language therapist can help a child with sensory and social awareness issues.

Sensory Issues:
In addition to helping people communicate, speech-language pathologists are also trained to deal with other issues, including feeding problems and sensory issues. People on the autistic spectrum are often hypersensitive to sensory input like sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. For example, a child may express a dislike for certain fabrics or food textures, show discomfort with loud noises or bright lights, or have any other number of sensory experiences than makes them uncomfortable. Speech-language pathologists can help a child acclimate to problematic sensory experiences by developing a higher tolerance for more intense and more varied stimuli while targeting different communication goals. If a child can better integrate sensory information, they can engage with others more effectively and be fully present in language and communication with less distraction.

Social Awareness:
Learning to navigate the unspoken social rules that come naturally to most people can be one of the most significant challenges for many people on the autistic spectrum. A speech-language pathologist can identify the areas that are the most challenging for an individual and help them develop increased awareness and strategies. This might include increasing perspective-taking in social situations, improving awareness of the thoughts and feelings of others, or for children who are non-verbal, increasing joint attention for social participation.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.

© 2016, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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