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speech benefits for autism

Learn the Benefits of Speech Therapy for Autism

speech therapy for autismThere are many benefits of speech therapy for Autism. According to the National Institute of Health, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability.

People with ASD often have these characteristics:

  • Ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others
  • Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities
  • Symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life
  • Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life

Autism can affect speech, language development, and social communication in different ways for each individual..

Speech Issues with Autism

A person with autism may:

  • Grunt, cry out, yell, shriek, or make other harsh sounds
  • Not develop the ability to talk
  • Hum or talk in a musical way
  • Use correct phrases and sentences, but with an inexpressive tone of voice
  • Make sounds that sound like words or robotic-like speech
  • Repeat what another person says (Echolalia)
  • Babble with word-like soundstage without coherence

Since autism is on a spectrum, some have trouble producing speech sounds to effectively communicate with others. The the person may have developed language skills, but it may simply be too hard to understand.

Communication Issues with Autism

A person with autism may have one or more of these communication challenges:

  • Memorization of things heard without comprehension of what has been said
  • Not understanding meaning of words outside the context learned
  • Trouble with conversational skills such as eye contact and gestures
  • Using echolalia as the main way to communicate
  • Lack of creative language

Benefits of Speech Therapy for Autism

Because of these communication issues, those with autism must do more than simply learn how to speak. They must also learn how to use language to communicate, including how to hold a conversation and tuning into both verbal and nonverbal communication cues from other people.

Speech therapy techniques might include:

  • Electronic “talkers”
  • Signing or typing
  • Using picture boards with words, known as picture exchange communication systems that start out using pictures instead of words to help a child learn to communicate
  • Using sounds to which a person is over- or under-sensitive to expand and compress speech sounds
  • Improving articulation of speech by massaging or exercising lips or facial muscles
  • Having individuals sing songs composed to match the rhythm, stress, and flow of sentences
  • Some of these techniques are supported more by research than others. Be sure to discuss them thoroughly with the speech-language pathologist and your child’s pediatrician.

For more information on our Autism speech and hearing services, contact us online or call 904-355-3403 to make an appointment.

Ava's Story with Apraxia Speech Therapy

Ava’s Journey with Apraxia Speech Therapy

Ava speech therapy“I did my research on apraxia”

Lindsay Thomas is the mother of two young children. Lately she has been spending lots of time in the car seeking help for her younger child, Ava, who is three-and-a-half.  Ava has been diagnosed with apraxia of speech, a very rare disorder.

“Childhood apraxia of speech is different from some other children’s speech disorders,” explains Lindsay. “It’s not a problem with muscles in the face or mouth but a neurological disorder. Children know what they want to say but have a problem getting the words out.”

When Ava was diagnosed, Lindsay did her research on Jacksonville-area speech pathologists. When she visited the website of Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center and read all the positive reviews, she knew that she had found help.

Apraxia speech therapy“Ava is shy but immediately loved her teacher, Katy,” said Lindsay. “Katy makes it fun and Ava loves coming here. Katy even knows that Ava loves the Disney Princesses and has used that in the treatment.”

“Ava will work hard for Katy.” Lindsay adds.  “She makes it so fun and is so patient with her.”

The treatment involves starting with consonant sounds and then connecting that to the different vowels. There is a lot of repetition and Ava is likely to be in long-term treatment for up to five years.

“When we started here she was only saying about 20 words,” Lindsay explained. “This treatment has boosted her confidence to where she is starting to put sentences together and adding words to her vocabulary.  It is great progress.”

Ava’s story was also featured on Jacksonville.com.

Ava's journey with apraxia

If you know someone struggling with their speech and is looking for a solution, please tell them to contact the Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center.

autism therapy jacksonville

JSHC Earns Designation as Certified Autism Center

The Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center (JSHC) has earned its certification of autism care from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This designation means that at least 80% of the JSHC staff has undergone a rigorous training process that will assist in providing speech pathology and audiology services for those who have autism. It is believed that the nonprofit is the first healthcare provider in North Florida to undergo this training for its staff.

“I’m extremely proud that our staff has stepped up to achieve this recognition,” said Mike Howland, President and CEO of Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center.  “Communication is a critical challenge for many people with autism and that is where we can help.”

“I strongly believe that creating professional partnerships that help care for those with autism and other sensory processing disorders improves the quality of care,” said Michelle Killian, Director of IBCCES.  “Disparities in patient-provider communication lower patient self-efficacy and usage of preventive services. This training can help eliminate that.” IBCCES was formed in 2001 and is the leading credentialing organization for professionals in the field of autism.Certified Autism Center

A Certified Autism Center provides a patient-friendly environment that includes:

  • no sensory overload
  • patients ushered to quiet rooms
  • treatment that is minimally disruptive to the patient
  • communication with family members regarding diagnosis and treatment
  • a focus on “yes” or “no” questions to patient
  • allowing patients to see and touch materials
  • a health care professional manner that is direct and factual

autism therapy jacksonvilleAutism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a wide range of symptoms and impairment levels.  According to a 2010 study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, one in 68 children in the US have the disorder.  It is five times more common among boys than girls.

The Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center was founded in 1949 by the Junior League of Jacksonville. Today this nonprofit, located at 1128 N. Laura St., serves children, adults and seniors providing screenings, evaluations and treatments in the areas of speech pathology and audiology.  Most major insurances are accepted. For more information contact us online or call 904-355-3403 to make an appointment. Make sure to Like Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center on Facebook!

jacksonville events finfest

Top 7 Reasons You Should Join Us for FinFest!

 

jacksonville events finfest

If you want to support a worthy cause AND have a fabulous time, join us for our annual fundraising event, FinFest 2015: Return to the River, on May 30, 2015. FinFest is our largest fundraiser, raising the funds needed for Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center to provide our community with quality speech and hearing services. Here are our Top 7 reasons you will want to get your tickets to FinFest 2015: Return to the River.

Top 7 Reasons You Should Join Us for FinFest

1. This is Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center’s biggest fundraising event. As the only non-profit agency in Northeast Florida accredited for both speech-language pathology and audiology services, we provide high quality care through the generosity of our community to ensure no one is turned away. In 2014, the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center helped 5,290 people with speech and hearing disorders in Northeast Florida through professional speech and audiology therapies. This is your opportunity to make a difference.

2. Through our Preschool Communication Initiative, we have provided speech and hearing screenings to 2,385 children at 75 preschools in Duval County. It is our vision that every child aged 3 to 5 in a five-county Northeast Florida area will be identified, diagnosed and treated for speech, language and hearing disorders, enabled to start kindergarten on an even keel developmentally, free from stigma, with their classmates.

3. Listen to excellent live music from St. Augustine’s Henry and the Seahawks. Henry and the SeaHawks are known for their tropical hoedown style music played with passion, sweat, and as they like to say- “sunshine.”

4. Enjoy the beautiful scenery at the Timuquana Country Club. Timuquana Country Club is one of Florida’s premier country clubs as well as one of the oldest in Jacksonville. The club’s location on the western edge of the St. Johns River gives it a “million dollar view” of the Jacksonville skyline.

5. Meet First Coast News Anchor Katie Jeffries and our Honorary Co-Chairs.  As our official Master of Ceremonies, Katie will bring her professional experience and pleasant personality to ensure you know when all the special events of the evening are happening. Moody and Natali Chisholm, John and Gena Delaney, Artis and Enola Gay Gilmore, Robert and Margaret Hill, and John Falconetti and Shannon Miller will serve as our Honorary Co-Chairs of FinFest.

6. Participate in an auction to acquire fabulous items. With quality items donated from local and national businesses, athletes, artists, and authors, you are sure to find a valuable treasure.

7. Let us not forget- have FUN! Make sure to put on your best Hawaiian/Beach casual outfit, invite your friends, make new connections and be ready to have a memorable evening!

Make sure to join us on our Facebook event page and invite your friends!jacksonville events finfest

For sponsorship and ticket info, contact Kristen Dietzen at 904-355-3403 or kdietzen@shcjax.org.

For auction donations, contact Cathy Howland at 904-355-3403 or chowland@shcjax.org.

We will see you there!

Happy Child! Happy Mom! Speech Therapy Helps Jalen.

Jalen was just three years old when he first came to the Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center (JSHC) with his mother.  His language abilities left Jalen frustrated; he had no way to communicate with his peers or express his needs.  His mother persevered, working diligently with Jalen week after week at home and JSHC on speech therapy.

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