Autism Speech is educational therapist Rob Bernstein’s unique cognitive approach to treating individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Rob diagnoses individual’s learning processes, and remediates learning and behavioral problems. He is able to help clients with ASD break out of their autistic tendencies and gain more typical functioning. He facilitates meaningful speech in children with limited and, in some cases, no speech, many of whom have not progressed in other therapeutic settings. His work often provides relief to families who have experienced years of frustration.
Rob’s approach views each client first and foremost as a unique individual, with a unique set of strengths and challenges, within the context of typical development. As he observes and interacts with the child, teen, or young adult, he discovers where the gaps in his or her thought processes lie, and then provides opportunities for him to access his own innate capacity to develop more typically (e.g.; using meaningful language and becoming more socially aware and engaged).
Rob does not teach isolated, generic language or social skills. Typical children develop language and social behaviors in the context of daily life. Why should autistic individuals be expected to learn them in isolation, without meaningful contexts?
No matter how low functioning an individual may appear to be in particular areas, Rob knows how to facilitate, capture, and build on their small moments of normalcy (as one mom recently called them) so that they eventually overtake the autistic tendencies. Once progress begins it is often self-reinforcing; clients often feel better when they can function more typically; and there is often a cascade effect with accelerating progress.
Rob’s approach focuses on the individual gaining self-awareness, as appropriate to his functional level; and gaining a perspective of himself in relation to others. This is possible at almost every stage of development, from a small child realizing that the shoe he is trying on is way too big or small for his foot, to a teenager understanding how he appears to another person whose question he has just ignored. Rob’s approach often produces results that are more dramatic, and that require less time to achieve than traditional methods.
You may ask: If children with ASD, like typical children, are exposed to learning opportunities in the normal course of their days, why should this approach make a difference? The answer is that routine opportunities are not opportunities for the person with ASD. Rob’s approach creates real opportunities for the individual with ASD because they come from Rob’s understanding of each client’s unique set of developmental strengths and needs.