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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speech Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Seattle, WA

As a parent of an autistic child, you have a lot on your plate. If your child was recently diagnosed, you are probably overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing the best professionals to work with, implementing everything your doctors are recommending, and balancing everything that is going on with your child’s needs. On the other hand, if your child is already receiving services through their school, you may be wondering if you are doing everything you can to ensure their success, which can be frustrating and exhausting.

In either case, to help reduce your stress and ease your anxiety, Sammamish Children’s Therapy has carefully put together this Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) page to provide you with as much information about us, our staff, and our approach as possible.

The Basics of Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASD is called a “spectrum disorder” because it can produce a wide range (e.g. spectrum) of effects on the development of your child’s communication. And because there are numerous other deficits that can be present, the resulting treatment profile is unique to each child. Children with ASD may need help with: 

Here at SCT, we receive referrals from a wide variety of sources, which include pediatricians, neurologists, Seattle Children’s Hospital staff, and other families whose children we have helped. 

How SCT Addresses Your Child’s Communication Development

Because ASD can present a range of symptoms that are unique to your child, we begin by creating an individualized speech and language therapy plan to address their needs. This starts by looking at the areas of speech, language, communication and feeding that are impacting your child the most. Goals and treatment plans are established to target the most effective therapy intervention whether it is in one on one therapy or in small groups. This plan can include friendship pairs and/or social groups that will help facilitate interactions in group settings and address especially challenging communication scenarios.  

At SCT, we also recognize the importance of coordinating your child’s therapy with other service providers, so that we can collaborate together on how to best meet your child’s needs. This also includes school visits, consultations, community outings and essentially anything else our therapists think will be helpful for your child.

Effective Communication Therapy is About Collaboration

Not only do SCT’s therapists collaborate with outside personnel to improve the effectiveness of your child’s therapy, we work together as a team in our clinic.  We are collaborating on special cases, observing each other’s therapy sessions, brainstorming at monthly team meetings and providing each other with feedback. We also place a great deal of emphasis on staying up-to-date with continuing education and on making sure that our resources are well rounded.

It is important to us at SCT that we work with you and your child together as a team to help improve their chances of success.

SCT’s Relationship-Based Approach to Therapy

While all of SCT’s therapists have been specially trained to work with children on the autism spectrum, the truth is that there’s a vast difference between knowing about autism spectrum disorder, and understanding how to effectively treat it.

This is because the key to successful ASD treatment comes from the ability to connect—really, truly connect—with your child, and to be able to view the world from their perspective. Once your child recognizes this connection, it will foster a unique relationship between them and their therapist; one that’s built on mutual trust, respect, and in most instances, a lot of silliness too.

When it comes down to it, children learn when they’re happy and motivated, which is why SCT places so much emphasis on the hiring process, because our ultimate goal is to find unique therapists that can create magic within your child.

The Sammamish Children’s Therapy 3-Step Process

Overall, SCT’s therapy services occur over 3 primary phases:

Step 1: Evaluation – Initially, we will ask you to provide us with information on your child (age, medical history, current diagnosis, previous evaluations/therapies, physician referrals, school, insurance) this can be completed over the phone, via email or through our website.  Based on this information we will carefully select a therapist to work with your child, and we will schedule a convenient appointment time for the evaluation. 

Step 2: Treatment – If treatment is recommended as a result of the evaluation, the frequency and duration will be determined by the therapist based on your child’s individual needs. For example, many children are seen for therapy 1 time a week for 30-50 minutes per session; others are scheduled multiple times per week, while still other clients may only come in twice a month. Adjustments to the frequency and duration of the therapy plan are made by the treating therapist, as goals are met or new areas of concern arise.

Step 3: Support – SCT always includes a component of caregiver training in our therapy plan, to ensure that you are involved in your child’s therapy.   This provides you with activities to work on at home which helps to increase their progress and continuity outside of the therapy session. 

Additional Services from Sammamish Children’s Therapy

In addition to traditional therapy settings, SCT can also make school visits to observe how your child in their classroom, provide support and ideas, and can even sit in on school IEP meetings if needed. We can also help families of children with ASD find other professionals (e.g. ABA therapists, educational consultants, occupational therapists, physical therapists, neurologists, psychologists, etc.) and provide occasional in-home visits to help transfer skills or to set up a home program.

Common Questions about SCT’s Autism Spectrum Therapy

Here are some common questions we often receive from parents about our therapy services:

How often will my child need to undergo therapy?

While most children with ASD need to undergo therapy at least once per week, some children may require as much as 2-3 times per week. This is something that will be assessed during your child’s initial consultation.

Why is it important for parents to seek ASD therapy for their children?

Research has shown that intensive, early intervention can give a child with ASD the best possible support for them to develop skills that will help them thrive, both socially and communicatively.

In addition to monitoring and developing their child’s skills, therapy also provides parents with the training they need to effectively work and play with them at home, so that family interactions can be less stressful and will be a place that fosters growth and encouragement. 

Did I Wait Too Long to Get Help?

The earlier a child is diagnosed with ASD and treated accordingly, the better their chances of overall success. However, it is never too late to get help. We will work with you and your child when you bring them in to see us, and help you find the appropriate services that he/she needs. 

Are There Other Professionals My Child Should be Seeing?

Once our therapists have evaluated you child, we will provide you with recommendations for referrals to other professionals as needed.  

Don’t see an answer to your question? If not, please feel free to give us a call at (425) 557-6657 and we’ll be more than happy to help.