Devon – Age 21
It’s a darn good day, especially when one of your young adults on the Autism Spectrum tells you she is “preening with pride” over her latest accomplishment. The accomplishment; speaking to a stranger with confidence and getting directions to a dog park.
Asperger’s Syndrome & Socializing
This may seem trivial to many, but for Devon, at the age of 21, this was an incredible achievement. Diagnosed with “Asperger syndrome,” one of several previously separate sub-types of autism that were folded into the single diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 2013, day to day social skills do not come easy to her. Simple social interactions many us take for granted, are incredibly hard for individuals such as Devon. Speaking to people, conversing, reading body language and taking information literally made the simple task of talking to a stranger, daunting and unbearable.
Social Language Skills & Speech Language Therapy
A little over seven months ago, Devon started direct therapy sessions at the Speech Language Network. Her therapy focused on the science behind social language thinking and why it was important. We worked through frameworks and theories and started to build a “tool box” of social communication strategies to use outside the therapy setting. Shortly after, Devon started attending our Adult Social Language connection group. This is a program for young adults that runs at the SLN offices to support carry over of social communication skills into the community. Initially Devon was ill from anxiety and would not enter the room where the group was held. Once she joined, she would sit in the corner and “just listened.”
Your very elated SLP, Kara