A SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST’S VIEW
Ms. Devi Jessie Mary
Head of Department of Speech-Language Pathology,
Nishta Integrated Neurodevelopment Centre
We do not want to give the scientific definition of the term “Autism”. But rather, the idea of the capabilities of a child formally diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This will only remain as a formal name to the characteristics exhibited by the child but it will never define the child’s capacity to live his life, when nurtured appropriately not just by his parents but by the community as a whole. For this, we need to focus on the bigger picture. What is this bigger picture you might ask?? A holistic picture which involves the child and his family in this evolved community, which is not just emotionally empathetic but exhibits an inclusive environment for our growing children, where they can utilize the immense opportunity available.
Dr. Temple Grandin, American Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, consultant to the livestock industry on animal behaviour and an active autism spokesperson, informally diagnosed at 2 years of age states, “There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what he cannot do”.
What is our role you may ask??
The biggest challenge for a child diagnosed with ASD is the difficulty in achieving communication where the child shares needs and wants as well as his ideas to the listeners around him, because of which the child’s ability is predominantly under-rated. This is where we step in. We work, hand-in-hand with the child’ parents, as well as his immediate environment (including school, home and other places the child is exposed to constantly) to help the child to achieve communication, through which he can share his thoughts constructively. This involves positive learning towards better development of cognition, receptive and expressive language aspects as well as social and play behaviour, which further leads to overall development of the child.
A child who has difficulty towards verbalizations or has chosen non-verbal modality independent of outside influences, communication is still practiced. How you may ask? Through the Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) mode which includes all forms of communication (except verbal mode) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We do not just stop at this! We move further to help the child to become a part of the community through generalizations and exposure towards more societal situations in the most welcoming arenas. With such a wide range of choices at hand, we strongly advise you to stick to the WordPress Theme that is based on your business’ or a closely related field.
On this day…
Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer, in one of his most famous poems beautifully quoted –
“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They came through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
Every child has a mind just as active as another. They have every right to a life that belongs solely to them. We are, but an accessory to their life. Let’s do our part – to become the steps for every child to capture his/her the opportunity that rightly belongs to them.