Becoming Verbal With Autism and Apraxia

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My son is 9 years old and has been diagnosed with autism and apraxia. He is non verbal and low-to-medium functioning. We are trying to determine the best methodology to help him talk more. I read a lot about your Apraxia experience but nothing about your experience with Autism. Since my son has Autism as well I was hoping if you could give me your expert opinion on what to do as I am trying to determine what is the best approach to help him. Do you recommend PROMPT?

I do not consider myself an expert on autism and therefore usually don’t give advice. However, many parents with children on the autism spectrum have benefitted from my book called Becoming Verbal with Childhood Apraxia. I usually recommend it for children younger than your son.

However, if he is “low functioning,” I assume that means that he is perhaps functioning like a preschool child. If so, then you might benefit from the information in there. It is about how to help kids become more interested in sound and speech, how to help them become more interactive and imitative.

I have used the methods in there for children with autism your son’s age and have had good results with certain kids. They seem to be the ones who are just starting to become verbal. Enough people have benefited from the ideas that I have been asked to speak to the National Autism Conference in PA this year. You can read a little more about this book on my website.

Also, I really like PROMPT, and there are other cueing techniques, both formal and informal, that can help many children. Whether a cueing system will help your child is difficult to predict. Experimentation and time will tell.

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