Communication is a large part of daily life. While verbal communication is common, non-verbal communication can be just as powerful and essential. Many of those who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, are not able to use verbal communication and must rely on non-verbal methods of communication. Understanding the complexities of non-verbal autism can provide insight into how to better help this population. Services like family resources for autism and specialized autism support are key to helping those with non-verbal autism find their voices.
What Does It Mean to Be Non-Verbal?
Non-verbal autism is a form of ASD in which those affected are unable to understand or create verbal communication. This can range from being able to make sounds but not using words to having no ability to make sounds at all.
Autism exists on a spectrum, and non-verbal autism does as well. While some individuals may have some understanding and use of words, others may need additional assistance to communicate. This type of autism often begins to show itself in early childhood and can often be identified in the first year of life.
Why Some Individuals with Autism Are Non-Verbal
There are a variety of reasons why some individuals with autism may be non-verbal. The most common cause is a delay in speech development, which can occur for many reasons such as difficulty processing language, sensory processing issues, and motor delays. Some individuals may also experience anxiety or depression that can further impede their ability to communicate verbally. Additionally, some individuals may have a developmental disability that makes it difficult to comprehend language or produce verbal communication.
Can Non-Verbal Children with ASD Learn to Speak?
The short answer is yes. With the right interventions and therapies, those with non-verbal autism can learn to communicate more effectively, and many will eventually be able to use verbal language. However, it is important to recognize that some individuals with non-verbal autism will never be able to communicate verbally and may need more extensive support services.
A variety of methods of communication can be used, including:
- Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices
- Visual supports, such as picture cards or charts
- Social stories to help build understanding about social situations
- Sign language or other forms of non-verbal communication
Through treatment tailored to their individual needs, those with non-verbal autism can still lead fulfilling lives.
The Most Effective Treatment Services for Non-Verbal Autism
Family resources for autism, as well as professional services, are integral to helping those with non-verbal autism manage their day-to-day lives. Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy, for example, is an evidence-based approach to helping individuals with autism learn the skills that they need to progress in life. Working with a behavioral therapist can help those with non-verbal autism gain skills in language, socialization, and problem-solving.
Family therapy is also a key component in helping those with non-verbal autism. It allows family members to better understand the individual’s needs and how to best help them. It can also provide a space for family members to gain empathy and build understanding of the situation.
Call Rising Above ABA for Treatment That Will Make a Difference
At Rising Above ABA, our team of professionals is committed to providing individualized and comprehensive treatment services to those with non-verbal autism. Our clinicians are experienced in administering a range of therapies and services that are tailored to the individual’s needs. We strive to ensure that each person is able to reach their fullest potential.
If your child has been recently diagnosed with non-verbal autism, don’t hesitate to call Rising Above ABA. We are here to answer any questions you may have and provide the support that you need. Call 888.572.7473 or reach out online to get started.