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How to help ASD with language

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My daughter is 4 and has been diagnosed with ASD. She's a very high functioning, smart girl and we've been doing preschool for a few months. Her ASD diagnoses doesn't get in her way much except for language. Her language struggles. She has massive pronoun reversals. Instead of saying, "I want to go to the park with you," she'll say, "You want to go to the park with me." She refers to herself by her name as often as "me" or "you." She can only answer very simple questions. It is difficult to explain things to her because she doesn't understand sometimes. I've gotten good at it because I'm around her so much, but it is especially difficult for my dh or others. She also is still very echolalic, but has been moving away from this over time. Even with these challenges, though, she is sailing through math and learning to read.


Right now she's in ST (and has been for over a year) a few times a week. But I was wondering if there is any research on how to help ASD children with language, like special therapies or ways of approaching it. Or if any of you have any insights into what I can do to help her.


I do see little improvements over time. For instance, only in the last few weeks has she tried using the pronouns him/her or he/she (although she gets the gender wrong often). She is progressing, just very slowly. And I'm wondering what this means for her education. I'm obviously going to have to tweak whatever we do in order to explain it to her in a way she can understand. I guess I just want to talk about this with others who might understand.

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Are you doing any kind of nutritional support? I have found that adding certain supplements led to a dramatic increase in my DD's speech within days. The helpful supplements include acetyl-L-carnitine, Coenzyme Q10, and DMG.


Methyl B12 shots can also be helpful for speech according to our DAN dr. DD is currently participating in a research study on mB12 so we won't know until the end of October whether she is getting the active form or the placebo. I haven't noticed any particular improvement since she started the shots, so I'm hoping that she is getting the placebo and not that she's a non-responder. If she is getting the placebo now, she will get 16 weeks open-label mB12 after the double-blind phase is over.


Omega 3's are often touted for speech but I didn't notice any improvement when I upped my DD's dosage of them per our DAN dr.

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I, too, was going to suggest the Hannen materials. They have some written for parents. Their approach for ASD communication issues is very sound.


My son did work out those issues but much later than would be typical.


Remember the big communication issues with ASD kids (in terms of limiting life choices/success type of big) are much more likely to be nonverbal communication related.

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I'm wracking my brain here. But I think developmentally you would see her attuning to others and her environment first and herself last.


Stories in third person with pronouns he, she, it. I would work here. Then 3rd person ownership when it's obvious. He is holding his ice-cream come.


There is also a whole developmental area that's easy to miss in ASD where the child is distinguishing between themselves and you and the different perspectives that each one has. RDI therapy breaks this down incrementally. An example would be mom wearing a blindfold when child is describing various new objects. Mom says, "I don't see the blue." This would be one tiny step in realizing me and you are different and have different input channels. This would gradually include all of the nonverbal channels. It would finally culminate in the child prefacing their comment about a character they want to talk about with a description of the book of movie to get you oriented to their perspective.


I guess to sum it all. I saw a lot of language growth when the nonverbal channels started functioning and processing more of my child's world. I was amazed that they my child understood things around them but not register their own needs, perspectives, emotions, etc.


:grouphug: it's been a journey here too.

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