April was Autism Awareness Month: Speech-Language Pathology Helps
Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

According to an article published by the American Speech Language Hearing Association, “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) characterizes Autism as a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and social interaction and the presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors”. With the release of the DSM-V, individuals who meet the criteria set forth for diagnosis are now given the diagnosis of “autism spectrum disorder” and one of three severity level ratings. The severity ratings are assigned to determine the amount of support an individual may require to function in the general community.

Children and adults who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder often work with a team of professionals in order to help facilitate skill development. These professions may include but are not limited to special education teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, ABA therapists, and speech-language pathologists.

Speech-language pathologists may work with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to facilitate the use of spontaneous functional communication across settings, develop an understanding of language, encourage reciprocal communication, and fostering the development of social communication skills. As appropriate, speech-language pathologists may also work with individuals and families to assess the need and requirements for using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices as a mode of communication. In addition, a speech-language pathologist may assess and treat feeding issues, if present, including patterns of food acceptance or rejection based on food texture or consumption of a limited variety of foods.

For additional information visit:
American Speech Language Hearing Association

Written By:
Lindsay Crable MS CCC-SLP
Frederick SLP
Paul, D. (2013). A quick guide to DSM-5. The ASHA Leader, 18(8), 52–54.   https://doi.org/10.1044/leader.FTR4.18082013.np
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2020, from