No matter where your child falls on the autism spectrum disorder, interacting with the world around them can be a challenge. To help your child feel more comfortable in social settings, creating safe groups in which to practice new skills is important.
While individual counseling and speech therapy is important, the team at Celebrations Speech Group also recognizes the great value in group work, especially when it comes to conditions like autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Here’s a look at a few of the many benefits of group speech therapy for children with autism.
One of the primary issues for kids with autism is difficulty with communication and group work represents an ideal opportunity to work on this area in a more realistic setting.
To draw an analogy, when you learn a new language, it’s all well and good to work with an app or to quietly conjugate verbs, but the real ability to communicate in this new language comes with social interaction and conversation.
The same holds true for autism if you understand that your child is, in effect, attempting to learn a new language. In a group setting, they’re better able to put many speech and communication theories into practice as they navigate unscripted conversations and rely on both verbal and non-verbal prompts.
As important as speech is, so, too, is learning social skills, which is where group therapy can be invaluable. With our group therapy sessions, we create a safe place in which kids with ASD can practice interacting with their peers without the threat of misunderstanding and alienation.
Even for children without autism, learning to socialize with their peers can be daunting and one small mistake can set the stage for a frustrating social life moving forward. Now imagine a child with autism facing a world in which their peers don’t understand their difficulties, where many mistakes can be made.
In a group setting that’s geared toward kids with autism, the atmosphere is far more forgiving, which allows your child to relax, make mistakes, learn, and move forward.
While individualized speech therapy sessions are important, they’re more “work” than a group session. During our group sessions, we encourage language and socialization skills through fun and interactive endeavors, such as games and projects.
With the pressure of “learning” lessened, your child relaxes and gets into the spirit of the group, often learning more about communication and socialization than they would with one-on-one therapy. In fact, all the work we do individually can be put into practice under the guise of “fun,” and children can make great strides when they’re enjoying themselves.
If you want to learn more about the role that group speech therapy can play in treating your child’s autism, please contact one of our locations in Brentwood, Stockton, and Elk Grove, California, to set up a consultation.