Autism online is a nest of information to support individuals and their families with ideas for developing communication skills for individuals living with autism. These shared ideas, speech therapy strategies and resources are provided publicly to the community to enable families to get on with the job of helping their autistic family member.
Children, adolescents and adults living with autism benefit from the support of a multidisciplinary team involving a Paediatrician or Psychiatrist, a Speech Pathologist, Psychologist and an Occupational Therapist.
Autistic individuals demonstrate challenges with processing language and cognitive or thinking skills. The degree and extent of the impairment (the underlying neurological deficits for processing linguistic and cognitive information) and the handicap (the functional impact on their lives), depends on where the autistic individual demonstrates themselves to be on the Autistic Spectrum. This can be at the severe end or low functioning capability level whereby communication skills are severely compromised and often the autistic individual relies heavily on the support of alternative communication methods and full assistance from care givers in most basic daily functions. At the high functioning capability end or mild end, these individuals may still demonstrate some degree of communication challenges with some aspects of fluidity and flexibility with language and cognitive processing, and usually demonstrate challenges with social communication or a pragmatic disorder. They may not intrinsically understand the natural interaction nuances of everyday conversations with friends, family members and work colleagues or how to interpret language and communication in action. They may misinterpret the tone in someones voice, the posture of their body or find it difficult to express a natural rhythm in their own tone of voice. They may misinterpret figurative language and take others literally, when they may have been joking or, at worst, making fun of a circumstance. It is also a catch cry to hear that some autistic individuals have fixed, repetitive or addictive interests. This may be what holds high functioning autistic people in good stead for achieving a degree of specialty or attainment of a super-goal that others can’t compete with. If a niche is your THING…and it is all you live and breathe for then it is easy to become the expert! Hence why it is well understood that NASA is full of individuals demonstrating the brilliance under Autism.
Asperger’s Disorder is typically understood as being high functioning and these individuals do not demonstrate the evidence of a language disorder. However, they too need support with their pragmatic skills.
This website "AUTISM Online" aims to roll out some information to help you support the communication skills of individuals living with Autism. It is written and developed by myself, a Speech Pathologist, experienced in working with many autistic individuals from various placements on the spectrum.
The social skills series aims to support the individuals in the middle to low range. However, adaptations can also be useful for high end autistic individuals.
Follow to the autism support-social stories pages to find out how to create an interaction and an animation to develop a tool for communication practice.