Better Hearing & Speech Month: Inclusiveness in Communication

Better Hearing & Speech Month: Inclusiveness in Communication

Autism is One of the Fastest Growing Developmental Disorders in the U.S.

Thank you to the Tallahassee Democrat for sharing this article highlighting the importance of inclusiveness during May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month!

Source: ASHA for BHSM

With 1 in 68 children now estimated to have autism spectrum disorder, community support is critical. During the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month campaign, local speech-language pathologist, Lori Savage Grayson, MMSc, CCC-SLP, FSL owner and founder of Children’s Communication Center in Tallahassee, asks residents to use this as an opportunity to consider how they communicate and interact with people with autism.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social communication and social interaction and the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors. Speech-language pathologists diagnose and treat children with autism focusing on all areas of communication, including social communication interaction skills.

“Everyone can play a role in fostering an inclusive atmosphere for children and adults with autism, whether at school, in workplaces, in local businesses and throughout our society,” Grayson said.

Grayson offers these tips noting that the success of “our children” is only possible because of the trust, respect and cooperation that we all share.

Participate in community events focusing on autism awareness. Photo: CCC/ASG

Reach out. People with autism want to make social connections just like everybody else, but it might be more difficult for them. Make an effort to engage the person in conversation or to invite them to participate in an activity.

Be patient. Give the person additional time to speak and respond. Don’t try to finish the person’s sentence or thought for them.

Modify your communication. Rephrase what you say if the person doesn’t understand or respond the first time. Use visual cues, or write your message down. Go the extra mile to be a good communication partner!

Don’t make assumptions. Don’t assume you know what the person wants or what they are thinking. Ask them!

“We know from research, as well as professional experience, that the earlier treatment begins for a child with autism, the better their outcomes,” said Grayson. “No child is too young or a concern too small that an evaluation or consultation would not be beneficial if a speech-language pathology or related problem appears present.”

Contact this Center to speak with Ms. Grayson if you have concerns regarding your child’s communication development.

You can read the Tallahassee Democrat’s article “May is Time to Foster Better Hearing and Speech, online here.