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Speech Interventions for Children with Autism

Updated on September 25, 2013
JT Walters profile image

JT Walters has a Master's of Science in Behavoralism from Florida State University. She is a researcher in many professions in Florida.

Beckman Oral Motor


Effective Speech Intervention Services for Non Verbal Children with Autism.

Autism is not a simple disorder or lack of cognition but a constellation of symptoms that present throughout a child’s body that is characterized by the inability to have normal social relations because of a communication deficiency, poor socialization skills and sensory integration problems.

Children with Autism have apraxia and expressive speech difficulties, GERD and digestion problems as well as abnormal muscle tone. They often have impaired socialization due to their communication disorders and they do not understand innuendo as they think in rather literal terms. Other symptoms included bruxismus which is grinding of the teeth which drives the parent absolutely mad and self stimulatory behavior for example rocking. The most prevalent sign of Autism is the absence of speech. This can be the most heart wrenching ordeal for both the child with Autism and the parent and there are no cures but only treatments.

Here is the definition of Bruxismus.

Benefits fo Beckman Oral Motor Exercises

In this article I am just sharing one parent's experience with speech interventions. My son who has Autism. He was in early intervention. He was segregated. Yes segregated, as we live in the South and integration is not a high priority. So my son received speech therapy for years in a rehabilitation hospital in which he was required to point to the pink kitty for many years. This was a complete waste of my time and my son was constantly getting sick from being exposed to really nasty diseases in a rehabilitation hospital. We were isolated by this therapy and it completely disrupted any natural development my son could have had with his peers all in the name of “pointing to the pink kitty.”. Needless to say the speech therapist couldn’t even agree my son had autism. I had him diagnosed at 2. By his second birthday I asked for my son to receive augmentative communication which he was denied because no one knew what it was.

And since the South is so segregated my son is home schooled as they only want to put him in a lock down school with severely emotionally handicapped children which is not an appropriate placement especially for a child who has never had the opportunity to be mainstreamed at all. He has not spent one day in a Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and has been completely discriminated against in his community.

I would rather home school my son then allow him to be abused by the public school system. There is systemic discrimination against children with Autism.

My son has a better education then he would ever receive by the public school in any event. He is getting home speech therapy now. I am pretty happy with the progress so I thought it would be important to share it with parents and friends of people with children with Autism. The Speech Therapist has been using Beckman Oral Motor exercises and the Augmentative communication device is on order now as attitudes have changed towards augmentative communication devices over the last decade. Too bad they couldn’t have just listened to me when my son was two. I feel my son would have had a much more normal life if the state of Florida wasn’t so discriminatory against children with Autism.

Right now my son is in his 4th week of Beckmann Oral Motor exercises. And while he is not speaking in greek and latin which he can read in both he is much more verbal. So much so he literally gets lost in his own vocalization. When we grocery shop I am constantly having to remind him to keep up because he is quite distracted with the things he can do with him his mouth.

Second, his GERD is significantly reduced. I have absolutely no speech and language training so I can’t explain it to you but it would seem his GERD is significantly reduced if not gone all together.

Third his Bruxismus is almost completely gone. A decade of grinned gone in 4 weeks. It seems to be a miracle.

Fourth, my son is eating more meats and harder foods which he would have found difficult to eat before. He is eating meat regularly which was almost impossible to get him to eat before.

Fifth, he no longer feels the impulse to bite. Biting was his way of getting oral input which Beckman Oral Motor provides.

Beckman Oral Motor



I was to quick to judge the state of florida. They have not progressed very much and my son did not receive his augmentative communication device until I sued the state of Florida in the district Court of Appeals. My poor son has had to learn how to write an appeallate brief. The state settled and my son has had the augmentative communication device however there is a stigmatization associated with parents who advocate for their children especially in court. Therefore my son does not have a speech therapist and I have been left to program the device and teach my son myself. The progress is slow. I am not an expert in this area but there is significant progress. It is an amazing tool and I recommend to all parents who have a child with Autism who is non-verbal because of apraxia to, in consult with the team, explore the possibilities of augmentative communication.

How Augmentative Communication Help This Child with Autism Reach the World

Another Child's Story of Augmentative Communication

In Conclusion

In Closing I would like to suggest if you have a speech therapist that insists on a therapy in which your child is not improving dismiss the speech therapist. It is your child and you will have to live with their failures. After a decade of a failing speech therapist we finally have one that knows what she is doing. The speech therapist of my son has me doing the exercise with my son 3-5 times a day. It is a lot of work but I do it religiously and it has paid off. I can’t recommend Beckman Oral Motor to you as I am not an expert in this area but I will state it has helped my son. And I don’t know if my son will ever be able to speak articulately enough to be understood without an augmentative communication device but I do know we are working towards giving him his voice and these interventions are working. So no matter what the hurdle never give up on your child. I have included a lot of links to Beckman Oral Motor but always consult a speech therapist for Autism.


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