Autism Spectrum Disorders
A Speech Language evaluation is often the first stop that would reveal concern for an ASD, especially in our younger kids. If this is the case, additional referrals may be made to help confirm or rule out that as a possible diagnosis.
We are trained to identify any characteristics that may be likely due to an ASD. Signs and symptoms of an ASD may range from being nonverbal and/or not developing early speech and language milestones when expected to, to normal early language emergence with mostly social language (pragmatic) impairments, to sensory impairments that include feeding aversions and more intense fears and anxiety expressed. However, Autism is a spectrum disorder because the characteristics can vary so widely. Higher functioning individuals with autism may have normally developing speech and early language, yet be picky eaters, have impaired social language and other limitations that interfere with their later development. The evaluation and treatment depends on the age of the individual and the particular concerns regarding their communication or feeding skills.
Shira has studied autism within a variety of coursework covering picky/problem eating and language skills in particular and has a particular interest in individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome.