Autism Speech Therapy Goals: Goal Banks

On the autism spectrum, each child is unique and different. That’s why their speech development is different and their needs for speech therapy differ accordingly. Once their needs differ, their goals differ as well. While planning these goals, it is important to identify the weak areas of your child and to create programs accordingly. Most of these goals should be set by an expert, but they also need to be addressed in a home setting.

There are some common goals of speech therapy. These goals include improving spoken language, developing non-vernal language skills which are signs, mimics, and gestures, and using alternative methods to communicate which can be cards with pictures, communication boards, or technology. There are some goals listed down below to give some basic level knowledge. 

Joint Attention

In the most basic sense, it is your child’s ability to focus. It is your child’s ability to focus on multiple items, things, and activities at the same time. Joint attention includes situations such as responding to the caregiver’s voice, shifting one’s gaze between two objects, recognizing and identifying emotional states, sharing or commenting on interests with others, understanding objects pointed out by others and understanding other people’s feelings.

Social Reciprocity

It is a social interaction that consists of simply giving and taking. Reacting to the other person and their interests, which is instinctive for neurotypical individuals, does not work in the same way for individuals with autism. That’s why there are some goals of speech therapy for children on the spectrum. These goals include taking turns to maintain mutual interaction, presenting small offers to initiate the interaction, being aware of the failures in the established communication and acting accordingly, being relevant, starting sensitive conversations, or continuing the conversation exchange.

Language-related Cognitive Goals

These goals are actually everything related to understanding, using, and speaking the language. This includes non-verbal communication such as gestures, facial expressions, or mimics. These goals include using gestures such as waving, pointing, or showing, matching gestures with sounds, matching pictures with stories told in books, creating word combinations, understanding the sequence of events in stories, paying attention to rhyming sounds, accompanying situations such as role-playing or visualization, developing literacy skills, being able to solve problems or develop purposeful behavior.

Behavioral and Emotional Regulation

It is the most difficult area for children on the spectrum to learn and master. On the other hand, it is the area where they will benefit the most in the long run. It is about your child’s ability to understand, process, transfer, and learn how to deal with their own emotions. These goals include being able to indicate undesirable behavior or activity, requesting a soothing activity when tense or nervous, expressing emotions, recognizing the emotions of others, using language to transition between activities, communicating and negotiating with peers, or anticipating the behavior of others in social situations.

Functional Communication Goals

It is the most important language skill that promotes the independence of children with autism. It means that the individual can communicate his/her wishes and needs to the other party while socializing. At this point, of course, there are many functional communication goals. You can help your child by making these goals a part of daily conversation. These goals should be appropriate for your child’s level and achievable. Patience is very important when reaching these goals. 

Expressive Language Goals

  • Labeling the objects to be selected at the appropriate level for their age, 
  • Being able to guess the named object correctly, 
  • Naming certain items from certain categories correctly, 
  • Imitating expressions, expressing what they want, 
  • Protesting what they do not want, 
  • Making comments, 
  • Explaining the situation given with pictures in simple sentences, 
  • Participating in the game played, 
  • Summarizing the read book with simple sentences, 
  • Creating complete sentences about a particular stimulus, 
  • Learning to use the correct grammatical structure over time, 
  • Using phrases such as adjectives, prepositions, and adverbs, 
  • Using concept words such as color, size, and shape, 
  • Being able to understand and use spatial and temporal concept words, 
  • Being familiar with quantitative concept words, 
  • Understanding the qualitative differences between two different objects, 
  • Being able to give correct answers to questions during a conversation, 
  • Answering questions in a short and concise manner, 
  • Telling or understanding detailed stories. 

Receptive Language Goals

  • Recognition of body and limbs,
  • Recognition of clothing, personal care supplies, home, and school items,
  • Being able to use correct definition of modifiers such as color, size, amount, and location,
  • Knowing the official action and activity correctly,
  • Matching the names object and the given picture,
  • Finding the object/picture that does not belong to a specific category,
  • Being able to understand the negation in sentences,
  • Being able to understand and use quantitative concepts,
  • Being able to understand and use qualitative/descriptive concepts,
  • Understanding spatial concepts,
  • Ability to order and retell structured activities in terms of time, space, and subject,
  • Ability to follow one-step instructions,
  • Ability to complete familiar routines without assistance,
  • Ability to complete two-step instructions when pointed out,
  • Understanding simple clues and following commands,
  • Following directions with gesture support,
  • Following directions with embedded language concepts,
  • Sequencing and following routine activities,
  • Understanding the difference between wh- questions and responding accordingly
  • Making long sentences. 

Social and Pragmatic Language Goals

  • Recognizing emotions in pictures,
  • Using the right words to express emotions,
  • Understanding and accurately expressing the feelings of others in social environments,
  • Answering pragmatic questions correctly
  • Recognizing a problem in social environments,
  • At the most basic level, finding the right answers to problems,
  • Identifying the problem and labeling the size of the issue,
  • Ability to make inferences in social situations,
  • Ability to create a flexible thinking strategy,
  • Predicting the continuation after hearing part of the story or social situation,
  • Noticing appropriate or inappropriate behavior in the situation,
  • Understanding the reason why the behavior is appropriate or inappropriate,
  • Being able to greet and say goodbye verbally,
  • Ability to establish and maintain eye contact,
  • Looking in that direction when his/her name is called,
  • Asking for help to be more independent,
  • Continuing for a certain period of time without stopping and changing a specific game,
  • Getting involved in games started and directed by others,
  • Continuing the conversation for a while by making comments or asking questions,
  • Making appropriate comments or asking appropriate questions on a topic created by someone else,
  • Ability to use appropriate intonation and volume.

Voice Goals

  • Explaining the structure and function of the sound mechanism,
  • Understanding and explaining changes in voice
  • Understanding and identifying personal differences that encourage voice harassment,
  • Ability to distinguish between healthy and abuse of voice,
  • Identifying ways to improve vocal health,
  • Recognizing your own tone of voice and using it appropriately for the situation,
  • Ability to speak with pauses suitable for punctuation marks,
  • Ability to adjust breathing and speech simultaneously and appropriately.

Articulation and Phonology Goals

  • Using and producing correct words, phrases, and sentences,
  • Speaking by making the right combinations of words, phrases, and sentences,
  • Ability to generate connected conversations,
  • Understanding spontaneous conversations in unstructured activities
  • Imitating vowels,
  • Creating sound units or combinations suitable for some sounds,
  • Being able to understand the phonological model unintentionally and generating new words by deleting the consonant at the end of the words ending in a consonant letter or vice versa,
  • Producing age-appropriate sounds and words,
  • Generating understandable and logical sentences,
  • Generating conversations during structured tasks
  • Ability to communicate spontaneously,
  • Ability to adjust the tone and speed of the voice appropriate to the speaking rate,
  • Ability to speak at a volume suitable for the situation and speech.

Early Language Goals

  • Nonverbal or verbal response to nonverbal communication indicators,
  • Having joint attention,
  • Looking at the object pointed or named,
  • Accompanying the games played and the songs sung,
  • Imitating different motor movements,
  • Ability to imitate different animal sounds,
  • Engaging in book reading activities,
  • Ability to request,
  • Being able to protest what they do not want,
  • Ability to make comments,
  • Ability to attract attention,
  • Ability to imitate different sounds, words, phrases, and sentences,
  • Communicating requests that will affect the objects or situation by pointing or verbal expression,
  • Ability to stay focused on a specific activity for a certain period of time,
  • Being able to follow different and independent games one after another,
  • Understanding and following commands correctly.

Fluency Goals

  • Being fluent in speaking,
  • Being able to be fluent or noticing fluency independent of any command,
  • Demonstrating appropriate eye contact, speaking rate, volume, and standby,
  • Developing communication skills suitable for speaking,
  • Determining strategies to increase fluency,
  • Introducing yourself to others,
  • Generating speech and identifying changes in that generating,
  • Choosing words, sentences, and speech appropriate to his/her level as a beginner,
  • Communicating with a peer or adult with minimal guidance,
  • Learning to act in accordance with stuttering situations, to get out of that situation, or to be able to maintain communication even in that situation.

Syntax, Morphology, and Grammar Goals

  • Being able to understand and generate plural suffixes,
  • Being able to understand and generate irregular plurals,
  • Being able to understand and generate possessive suffixes and words,
  • Being able to understand and generate auxiliary verbs,
  • Being able to understand and generate progressive verbs,
  • Being able to understand and use third-person subjective, objective, and possessive pronouns in the right context,
  • Being able to understand and generate regular and irregular past tense verbs and sentences,
  • Ability to use appropriate grammar and verbs at the sentence level,
  • Being able to maintain grammatical accuracy while making sentences,
  • Ability to maintain grammatical accuracy during speaking.
Esonto Talking Flash Cards with 224 Sight Words, Sensory Toys, Montessori Toy, Speech Therapy Toys, Learning Educational Toys

It is an interactive learning toy that is highly educational. There are 112 cards with 12 topics and 224 words in total in order to teach colors, shapes, numbers, vegetables, fruits, food, animals, vehicles, transportation, occupations, and daily routine activities. It is a set that helps to develop fine motor skills, enhance cognitive skills, build vocabulary, and learn visual words. There are very realistic sounds as well to be familiar with the sounds. It is a self-learning Montessori tool as well. While boosting the independence of a child by teaching daily necessities, it also enhances the interaction and communication between children and parents. It is a highly recommended toy at an affordable price. 

Alphabet Pop It Montessori Toys – Unique Gifts, Autism Sensory Toys, Fidget Toys to Use with Flash Cards, Speech Therapy Toys, Phonics for Toddlers

It is an interactive and educational toy that makes learning entertaining and easy. It is one of the best educational toys to help with letters and phonics. It will keep your child engaged at home and in classes while practicing phonics patterns and making words. It has complete alphabets, sounds, letters, phonics, vowels, and even double letters. There are 3 colored sections for easy learning by getting attention. It can be used as a stress-relieving toy. It is a perfect gift alternative as well.

LIKEE Alphabet Number Flash Cards, Wooden Letter Puzzle ABC Sight Words Match Games, Animal Counting Board, Preschool Educational Montessori Toys

It is greatly designed by professionals who know learning is more effective when is it entertaining. It is a wonderful way to teach your child both letters and numbers by sorting and matching blocks and cards. While teaching letters and numbers, promotes color recognition, develops hand-eye coordination, and enhances problem-solving skills. It is good for building a love for lifetime learning. It is an easy-to-grip and easy-to-carry toy. It is made of safe and nontoxic materials which makes it very recommended by parents. You can also teach your child how to keep his/her room tidy by collecting the game after playing. 

Action Verbs Flash Cards – 50-Piece Educational Flash Cards for Speech Therapy and Home Schooling – Thick and Durable Vocabulary Builder Flash Cards for Kids and Adults

It has a versatile design educational toy for both children and adults whether with autism or not. There are 50 cards with different activities and verbs included. These cards contain vibrant and modern pictures for individuals to be able to engage better. It is an entertaining way to teach verbs. They are highly effective in terms of learning cognitive skills such as listening, recalling, problem-solving, and more. Apart from cognitive skills, they are good for building vocabulary, improving comprehension and memory, creating connection and communication, and practicing speech. It is highly recommended by teachers, counselors, and speech pathologists. It is a great investment in the long run with its affordable price. 

Recent Posts