The problem with speech therapy and autism is speech therapy is generally aimed at teaching sound production to the muscles and building one sound upon another in a predetermined pattern of progression. However, autism and speech is more about communication than word formation.
Teaching communication, as opposed to speech, requires a greater level of sophistication from the teacher.
Unfortunately, too often the child is taught in a fashion that, when mirrored, looks like scripted talking and planned responses. This is not usually because the child can’t learn to speak in a more fluid way. (Made obvious by the fact that most ASD individuals do speak with great fluidity and a huge variance in tone when speaking within their perseverative self-talk.) The difficulty for these folks in learning to communicate often has to do with turn taking and the brain’s ability to transition between the processing of receptive to expressive, then back again, at a user friendly speed.
Thus the fluid self-talker should be encouraged to maintain their beautiful flowing dissertation of ideas while responding to our similarly shaped suggestions. Once they get used to ‘communicating’ then we ask them to show an interest in our things.
This works very well.
Unfortunately, what is usually done is the child is asked to STOP TALKING LIKE THAT (in his or her fluid way) and start repeating according to our robotic requests. A real-life example: Say “CAR” not ‘hello Steve …a clue a clue that’s hysterical!’
TEACH WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO LEARN AND IF WHAT YOU ARE WANTING IS SENTENCES THEN RESPOND TO AND ENCOURAGE SENTENCES!
If what you are wanting is communication, that is done by responding.
Practice the skill of responding to, and encouraging, sentences.