Susan's Blog

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Connection and Autism: It May Not Be What You Think

You can read my June 2020 Psychology Today column here.


I put my severe 18 year old back in speech therapy a few months ago. We have a new SLP (who thankfully, hates ABA so that we don’t have to worry about) – mat leave – the first worked on comprehension so we knew what he knew. We expected lots, were shocked at a few things he didn’t. Now they are pushing taking those words floating in his head and forming them into well… forms.

See, he loved the google meets with his classmates at the end of the school year. He would say “me, me, me” about his turn to talk about his week. He had a terrible time putting thoughts into words and was sad when he couldn’t and I helped him say what he needed to. This we have known for years and were told by an SLP… “I don’t know what to do”, that was about a decade ago.

A year ago, I met another SLP and she said… ask again. They want to put him in a social group with others at his level. We will do so after she puts in the building blocks this summer, and if it’s a bust, will wait a while longer while she works on the basic skills some more. We are not expecting perfect conversations, just the ability to take those thoughts, and be able to voice them in 1 word or 100.

Have you ever thought of trying speech therapy again?? It’s not what it use to be, or there are simply many younger therapists willing to be different.

— added by farmwifetwo on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm

Hi Susan,

I just read this article. My son is also on the spectrum, and has similar issues.

We found that piano lessons have really helped him to connect and I think it may be good for connection of both sides of the brain as well. Certainly not a silver bullet by any means, but it has helped us tremendously.

Thanks for all the great writing.

— added by Melinda on Monday, August 24, 2020 at 6:24 pm