Child Speech & Language Disorders
a. Autism
Autism is a childhood development disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction, communication and restricted, repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is 3 years old.

Most children with Autism remain dependent, but few High Functioning Autistics live successfully and independently by adulthood if trained in the right manner.

Features include the following:

Extreme autistic aloneness / inability to relate to other people
Failure to develop normal communication skills
A range of abnormal responses to things in the child’s environment which are governed by an obsessive desire for the preservation of sameness
Some good cognitive abilities particularly with rote learning / rote memory
Normal physical development
Echolalia (verbal repetitions)
Oversensitivity to stimuli


No one really knows for sure what causes Autism. Most experts say that autism is probably caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
It can be due to Genetic, Brain Development, Immune Deficiency Problem, Food Allergies, Poor Nutrition, and Vaccines.

What to look out for
A child with Autism may have a combination of difficulties in one or more of the following areas:

Social Interaction
Other Characteristics
  (Short attention span, Self-injurious behavior, Aggressive behavior, Lack of fear)

Related disorders
The common problems that occur with Autism are

Attention deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  (ability to read words without prior training in learning to read)

Diagnosis of Autism

Screening or Comprehensive Assessment related to Speech Language and Hearing.
Screening to help identify ADHD or any other related disorder
Psychological Evaluation
Assessment of the education for children and adult

Training Program

Enhancing Language and Communication in Individuals with Autism
A Behavior Management Program
General Recommendations for Promoting and Enhancing Socialization
Recommendations for Supporting Individuals with High Functioning Autism
Summer Program for Children
Hands-on training, in-services and workshops for parents and professionals regarding specific techniques and strategies
Consultation for the development of individualized programs, inclusion, and disability awareness training

Fifty percent of individuals with autism develop functional communicative language. The exact cause of autism is unknown; however, research has determined that it has a biological cause and it is not psychological. But there are many strategies that assist an individual to learn important functional skills.

“Autism means your children approach our world differently. We just need to learn to interface through therapy, play, school, medical interventions, depending on the child’s needs. Give them the tools they need so they can communicate and understand.”

b. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also known as hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) is a mental disorder and neurobehavioral disorder.

Signs and symptoms of ADHD:
The symptom categories yield three potential classifications of ADHD -

i. Predominantly inattentive type:

Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task
Becomes bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something enjoyable
Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new or trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
Seems to not listen when spoken to
Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
Struggle to follow instructions.

ii. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type:

Fidget and squirm in their seats
Talk nonstop
Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
Be constantly in motion
Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities and also these manifestations primarily of impulsivity
Be very impatient
Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games

iii. Combined type (if criteria for both subtypes are met)

c. Mentally challenged :
Mentally challenged or general learning disability is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors.

Characteristics of mentally challenged:

Delays in oral language development
Deficits in memory skills
Difficulty learning social rules
Difficulty with problem solving skills
Delays in the development of adaptive behaviors such as self-help or self-care skills
Lack of social inhibitors

d. Specific language impairment:
Specific language impairment (SLI) is a developmental language disorder that can affect both expressive and receptive language. Specific language impairment (SLI) is diagnosed when a child has delayed or disordered language development for no apparent reason.

Characteristics of SLI:

Child is later than usual in starting to speak and subsequently is delayed in putting words together to form sentences.
Spoken language may be immature throughout.
Understanding of language, or receptive language may also be impaired, though this may not be obvious unless the child is given a formal assessment.

e. Learning Disability:
A learning disability is a neurological condition that interferes with a person’s ability to store, process, or produce information.

Learning disabilities can affect one’s ability to read, write, speak, spell, compute math, reason and also affect a person’s attention, memory coordination, social skills and emotional maturity. It is a condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the normal level expected of those of the same age.

Common categories of learning disabilities include:

i. Dyslexia -
a language-based disability in which a person has trouble with specific language skills, particularly reading.

ii. Dyscalculia -
a mathematical disability in which a person has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.

iii. Dysgraphia -
a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters, write within a defined space and express ideas.

Management for the above disorders may include:

Paediatric Neurological consultation Special education
Combination of certain medications Special school
Psychological evaluation Lifestyle changes
Occupational Therapy / Behavior Therapy Counseling
Speech and Language Therapy    


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