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An SLP’s Role in the Treatment of Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder involving challenges in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. The severity of these deficits varies between individuals. A pediatrician or developmental specialist is involved in diagnosing ASD. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) play a key role in the treatment of ASD related to communication and pragmatic language areas. Here are the main roles SLPs take in the treatment of ASD:

  • Address Language Delays
    • Expand verbal output
    • Improve language comprehension
    • Support listening skills and understanding
    • Reduce echolalia (e.g., verbal repetition) and support use of novel language
  • Address Pragmatic/Social Delays
    • Target the improvement of nonverbal communication skills (e.g., eye contact)
    • Teach conversational skills and routines
    • Address conversational repair strategies
    • Target verbal language for a variety of functions (e.g., requesting, gaining attention
    • Expand play skills and turn taking skills
  • Address Repetitive/Restricted Behaviors
    • Increase flexibility
    • Improve acceptance to changes to routine


Goldberg, A.  (2021, August).  An SLP’s Role in the Treatment of Autism.  Zebra Speech.
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Speech-language pathologist (SLP)

more speech therapy articles posts (blogs) by Alicia Goldberg