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Autism in children usually means communication difficulties

Autism in children is usually first identified when the child does not develop speech as one would typically expect. Developing communication skills is essential. If your child cannot communicate they are likely to get very frustrated. They cannot let you know what they need or why they are distressed. The result is often huge tantrums while you desperately offer them one thing after another trying to figure out what they want.

If your child is unable to communicate it will affect their ability to interact with other children and to develop friendships. It also affects their ability to develop play skills.

Communication is not just about letting others know what you need, but also about understanding what others are trying to tell you. It can be very frustrating for parents when their child is unable to follow simple instructions or understand simple questions.

As autism in children almost always includes some form of communication difficulty, it is essential that their therapy develops communication skills.

JumpStart develops communication skills

Autism in children can mean no speech at all...

JumpStart is a holistic home-based therapy program that recognises the importance of teaching communication skills. Until your child see's the benefit to themselves of communicating, they are unlikely to develop speech. Once your child is able to communicate (in any way), their behaviour often improves significantly as do their play and social skills.

The JumpStart therapists are Occupational Therapists that believe in the importance of communication. We use visual supports throughout our therapy and help parents to use their home environment to create communication opportunities. We provide parents with the skills to develop early communication skills. This is the first step...get your child communicating.

"JumpStart taught MN so many skills that he was able to transfer to home and childcare. Following only a few sessions he was able to make choices (using pictures and then language) on toys and games he wanted to play.Towards the end of the program he was even challenged in waiting for his favourite games. He was able to take turns with Tali and even request activities."

You will definitely need Speech Therapy at some stage as Speech Therapists are the experts when it comes to communicating and speech but some parents like to start with a more holistic program and then work out when to start Speech Therapy. This way they get the most out of their Speech Therapy. Other parents like to do everything at once... it is up to the individual parent.

If however you are on a waiting list for Speech Therapy with therapists who specialise in autism, a program like JumpStart will give you a really good start when getting communication happening because we specialise in and only work with children with autism

"The program has surpassed my expectations and I feel immensely grateful that IM and I have been given such a fantastic head start, such a strong base to build on. I now feel confident and excited about playing and communicating with my daughter whereas before I didn't know where to start"

For children with some speech...

Autism in children presents in different ways and some children will develop speech at the time that you would expect but the quality of their speech may need some work.

For these children it is often really important how you as parents communicate with your child as they can be very rigid in their thinking.

For example...

A child that I worked with insisted on wearing his sleeveless footie jumper when he was kicking the ball around outside regardless of the weather. He also had great difficulty understanding that it was sometimes in the wash. This resulted in numerous tantrums that Mum had great difficulty resolving. We had to find a way to communicate to him that there were times when he was not going to be able to wear his jumper. Once we achieved this, the tantrums resolved.

Many children with high functioning Autism experience high levels of anxiety. This is not surprising. They are trying to find their way in a world that does not make sense to them. Providing them with the right amount of information about what will be happening in their day or week can reduce their anxiety. It is also important that this information is presented in the right way so that they fully understand.

"I learned how to create a visual schedule for my son that helped him feel less anxious about his day and I can now write social stories that will continue to help him learn"

JumpStart therapists understand the thinking and learning styles of children with autism and help parents to communicate effectively with their children. They also help parents to develop their child's communication skills.


If you would like to participate in the JumpStart program and live in Melbourne, click here to put your name on the JumpStart waiting list 


To return from Communication skills to JumpStart holistic, homebased therapy for autism click here 

To find out about Speech therapy and autism in children click  here

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Jumpstart testimonials

'It is hard to express just how much Tali has helped us. Looking back I can't believe I coped as long as i did without all the skills that Tali has taught me'

Go to Jumpstart Waiting list

Tali is fun, creative, caring and a delight to be around. I am so grateful for all she has done for us and I couldn't recommend her more highly.

Click here for 
Jumpstart testimonials

'It is hard to express just how much Tali has helped us. Looking back I can't believe I coped as long as i did without all the skills that Tali has taught me'

Go to Jumpstart Waiting list

Tali is fun, creative, caring and a delight to be around. I am so grateful for all she has done for us and I couldn't recommend her more highly.