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Autism and Gestalt Language Processing

Your child may have a diagnosis of autism, or you may be wondering about autism but you haven't sought a diagnosis.  Either way, I can work with you and help you navigate this territory.

Whilst autism has its challenges, I focus on the strengths of autistic children (of which there are many!) 

I am a neurodiversity-affirming SLT

This means that I:

  • Learn from your child, and get to know what works for them

  • Encourage your child to meet their sensory needs, e.g. for movement

  • Work with your child’s enthusiasms and passions

  • Adopt a child-led, play-based approach, so that therapy is fun and engaging

I am a GLP trained SLT

I have undertaken training with Marge Blanc and Alex Zachos and am registered on both of their websites:

Communication Development Center

Meaningful Speech

Is your child a Gestalt Language Processor?

Gestalt Language Processors tend to:

  • Listen to the musicality of language, and copy intonation patterns of whole phrases rather than single words. 

  • Absorb language in longer chunks, so whole phrases and sentences, rather than isolated words.  Songs and scripts from tv or video clips often appeal to them.

  • Associate specific phrases with certain sensory or emotional experiences, and make unique connections between these.

Autistic children may not say anything yet, but they are likely to be communicating.  Our job is to find out the modes of communication that work best for them.   This might be speech, and it might include the way they play, use objects or images, or use their bodies or voices.  We may consider introducing AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication).

The Stages of Natural Language Acquisition

GLP stages.png

Supporting a GLP

To help a GLP child acquire language naturally, we will want to provide language that appeals to this individual child.  

For a stage 1 GLP, this might be whole phrases, like 'let's play with the helicopter!' and 'we can make it fly!'  We can also use songs or rhymes.  GLPs often like funny voices and rich intonation.

For a stage 2 GLP who is already changing their stage 1 gestalt phrases, we can further play with mix-and-matching chunks of language, e.g. 'here's the dog', 'here's a big one', 'here's your shoes'.

A GLP-trained SLT will help you support your child at the stage they are at.

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