What is SALT?
SALT stands for speech and language therapy and is a kind of therapy used to help and support anyone who has difficulties with communication (or with eating/drinking/swallowing). It doesn’t matter whether the problems communicating are physical or psychological or emotional – a speech and language therapist can help with any of these. SALTs treat both adults and children.
As well as helping and supporting autistic people with communication, SALTs are often involved in the assessment process when a child is suspected to be autistic (and occasionally adults, too, though adult assessments often do not rely on SALT input).
The sessions are often one-to-one and may involve talking and/or exercises the therapist thinks will help. For children, this often takes the form of play.
You or your child will probably be given exercises to do at home in between sessions.
Does SALT help autistic people?
SALT can be a very helpful and effective therapy for autistic people with difficulties communicating. The one-to-one nature of the therapy tends to suit autistic people well and a good speech and language therapist can make a big difference for many autistic people.
Some of the things a SALT can help with are:
- Difficulty pronouncing words
- Struggling with turn-taking in conversations
- Providing or recommending language aids
- Communicating with non-autistic people
- Situational mutism
- Understanding non-verbal communication cues
- Social stories
See our ‘how to recognise a good therapist’ page for some tips on finding the right fit for you.