Speech-Language Pathology Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Our pediatric speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders from birth to age 21. Children with autism spectrum disorders may have the following communication difficulties:

  • No speech, or very limited speech
  • Difficulty expressing basic wants and needs
  • Problems following directions or understanding words
  • Problems answering questions
  • Poor play skills
  • Problems making friends
  • Problems dealing with changes in routines

Early intervention and using a team approach are important in the evaluation and treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Evaluation

Our team provides comprehensive speech and language evaluations for children, which includes:

  • An assessment of your child’s social-communication skills, as part of an overall evaluation of speech and language skills
  • Recommendations to improve these skills, including:
    • Frequency and duration of services
    • Goals, strategies and techniques
    • Parent/caregiver participation and training

It is also important to have your child's hearing evaluated to rule out hearing loss. To schedule a hearing evaluation, please contact our Pediatric Audiology team.

Treatment


One of our speech-language pathologists may recommend treatment for your child. The speech pathologist will work very closely with other members of your child’s care team and your family to provide services, which may include parent/caregiver participation and training. Each session is 30 or 60 minutes and may occur one to three times per week. Treatment lasts between one and six months.
The goal of speech therapy is to improve your child’s social-communication skills through one or more of the following:

  • Joint attention training: Helping your child to coordinate attention between an object and a person in a social context.
  • Modeling: Using live or video modeling to teach new skills.
  • Naturalistic teaching: Creating and using opportunities to improve communication skills during the daily routine.
  • Peer training: Teaching a sibling or other child in the family to use supportive strategies when playing and interacting with the child with autism.

New Outpatient Appointments

Call (650) 736-2000 to make an outpatient appointment with one of our speech pathologists. Before your child's first appointment, please:

1.    Complete a case history form (PDF - Case History Form in English / Case History Form in Spanish)
2.    Return the completed form to our department by either fax or mail:

Fax
(650) 736-3406
Mail
LPCH - Rehabilitation Services Department
Speech-Language Pathology Services
321 Middlefield Road, Suite 130
Menlo Park, CA 94025

For more information about our autism services, visit the Autism Center page.