Speech therapy has been very hit and miss for us. We've had seven different speech language pathologists since Alanna was diagnosed. What I have learned is that a speech pathologist's effectiveness varies widely with their experience in treating children with autism and speech motor disorders. It also very expensive - about $110/hour. When I think that one hour of speech therapy costs the same as four hours of ABA therapy, I start to think that that hour better be very productive!
I am pretty excited about our newest speech-language pathologist because of her experience with oral-motor speech disorders - namely apraxia of speech. Today during therapy we discovered that Alanna wants to say the right words (we knew this) but has no idea where to put her jaw, lips or tongue to make the right sound consistently. When the speech-language pathologist started moving her mouth, lips and jaw into the right positions (allowing Alanna to make the right sounds), she started to grab her hand and put it on her mouth as if to ask, "please help me make this sound!"
Alanna does have two consistent words as of late - Mama and apple. Here is a video of her saying both words... though the apple is quite faint!!