The Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of disorders, with main characteristics the difficulties in social skills and communication and the repetitive stereotypical behaviors.
Speech Therapy can interfere with the most common of such characteristics, which is the communication. Individuals with ASD have a profound difficulty in language and social learning, as well as in their relationships with others. Some of them could develop language, whereas others could never speak. There are many reasons why students with ASD never speak, with the most common of which to be the severity of ASD, their intellectual ability as well as their Special Language Impairments (SLI). Thus, there is no evidence that any of the existed therapeutic methods could successfully improve the communication skills of all the students in the Spectrum.
Despite such parameter, each therapeutic session of Speech Therapy should initially assess child’s communication skills, taking into account his cognitive and language level and his interests. It should, also, be based in the skills that he has already acquired. A child with ASD should not be limited to learn only to speak, but should also learn to use the language properly, in order to communicate. Consequently, the priority of his education should be focused not only on speech, but mainly on the holistic communication.
In Autism Center SOS, an individualized program has been designed and implemented for every teenager or adult student, focusing on the improvement of his communication, sociality, imagination, difficulty in both problem solving and daily activities, as well as in the development of the variety of his personal skills.