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Language delays or uneven language development are common signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder. These delays are most evident when a child is between 2-3 years old. In typically-developing children, the toddler phase is a period of rapid language growth. However, in kids with ASD, there may be clear challenges. For example, a child with ASD may not recognize or respond when they hear their name.

It’s estimated that between 25-30% of children diagnosed with ASD are minimally verbal (30 or fewer mastered words) or have other challenges with verbal communication (1)Speech-language therapy addresses language challenges and can help improve communication skills, oral motor skills, and more.

At Heartleaf, speech therapy is part of the continuum of care for children receiving ABA services. What this means, is that every child who qualifies for our ABA program automatically qualifies for speech-language therapy. You do not need separate approvals or insurance coverage to receive services.

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Speech Therapy?

During your child’s initial assessment with one of our board-certified BCBAs, we will review their speech and language skills. Below are some of the questions we will review during that assessment. If you answer “yes” to one or more, your child may benefit from receiving speech therapy.

  1. Has your child been diagnosed on the autism spectrum?
  2. Does your child have difficulty organizing their thoughts in spoken or written language?
  3. Do adults or other children have difficulty understanding what your child says?
  4. As a parent, do you have to translate what your child is saying?
  5. Does your child shy away from social situations?
  6. Has your child been diagnosed with any reading or learning difficulties?
  7. Does your child receive speech therapy in school and are you finding it helpful?
Image Credit: Juan Encalada