Treatment Options To Teach Skills To People On The Spectrum

Autism is a neurological disorder that is marked by behavioral conditions. It is characterized by impairment in social interaction, deficiency in communication skills, difficulty adapting to change, and repetitive or stereotypic patterns of activity and interests. The symptoms linked with autism are visible before the age of 3 years. The symptoms vary in severity differently in each individual. Diagnosis of the ‘spectrum’ and involvement of various treatment options for autism help individuals to lead an independent life.

Diagnosis

For diagnosing autism spectrum disorder, the doctor investigates the developmental delays to detect whether the child displays any signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. The child is then referred to a psychologist and a neurologist for an evaluation.

A specialist who treats children with an autism spectrum disorder, such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist, pediatric neurologist, or developmental pediatrician, for evaluation and treatment options for autism spectrum disorder. To determine the disorder a specialist may:

  • Ask if the child’s behavior, social interactions, communication skills have developed/changed with time
  • Tests the child’s hearing, speech, social, communication, and behavioral issues
  • Include other observations and remarks of other specialists after diagnosis
  • Advise genetic testing to test whether the child has other genetic disorder like Rett or fragile X syndrome

 Treatment

There is no treatment that can completely cure autism spectrum disorder. Still, the involvement of various treatment options for autism spectrum disorder such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, aqua therapy, play therapy, and drama therapy can maximize a child’s ability by reducing the severity of the symptoms and supporting development and intelligence. Early intervention helps the child to acquire essential social, communication, behavioral and functional skills.

To treat the child, the professionals create a treatment strategy to meet his/her requirement. Depending on the needs, speech therapy is introduced to improve communication skills, physical therapy to improve motor skill and balance and occupational therapy helps the child to learn activities of daily living while a psychologist can resolve problematic behavior.

Some of the treatment options for autism spectrum disorder include:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Applied behavior analysis is one of the best treatment options for autism that help children to acquire new skills to be used in multiple situations through a reward-based motivation. ABA therapy removes unwanted behaviors and install desired behaviors and skills in a child with autism. The therapy is known to reduce outbursts such as tantrums, teach a child to sit quietly and wait for his/her turn, and use words such as ‘please, sorry and thank you’. A reward also helps the child to share toys and brush his/her teeth. 

Speech therapy: Kids who have language issues can benefit socially, emotionally and academically from speech therapy. A speech therapist uses pictures, charts, and books or asks the child to imitate sounds which he/she finds difficult. They also demonstrate how to move their tongue and lips to create specific sounds. Speech therapy helps a child to speak clearly, feel more confident and less frustrated. 

Occupational therapy: The goal of occupational therapy is to assist individuals with autism to participate in the activities essential in everyday life. Occupational therapy combines various strategies which include physical activities to develop body awareness, play activity for enhancing better interaction and communication, etc

Author: autismconnectassociation

Autism Connect is a voluntary group based in Mumbai, India formed by parents and professional care-takers of children on the autism spectrum. Parenting and caring for a child with autism is a special responsibility in itself. There are doubts, questions and uncertainties in our minds. At Autism Connect, we endeavor to collect literature on evidence based practices (with special emphasis on newer emerging therapies) in the management of autism and share it with autism associations and organizations across the world with the hope that these associations disseminate and distribute this to their members and parents of children with autism.

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