Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and social interaction. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and they often appear in early childhood. ASD can make it difficult for kids to communicate with others, process information from the world around them, and behave appropriately in social situations.
There is no single cause of ASD. Research suggests that both genetics and environment may play a role. There is no cure for ASD, but there are treatments that can help improve symptoms and enable affected individuals to lead more fulfilling lives.
Many different types of therapies and interventions have been found to be effective in treating ASD. Some of the most common include behavior therapy, speech therapy, social skills training, occupational therapy, and medication. In many cases, a combination of different therapies for autistic kids is the most effective.
If your child has been diagnosed with ASD, working with a team of experts can help you choose the best possible treatment plan.
- 1 What is Autism?
- 2 The Three Main Types of Autism
- 3 Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism
- 4 How Can I Help My Child With Autism?
- 5 1. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
- 6 2. Floor Time Therapies For Autistic Kids
- 7 3. Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
- 8 4. Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
- 9 5. Social Stories Therapies for Autistic kids
- 10 6. Speech and Language Therapy
- 11 When Should I Seek Help?
- 12 When to Seek Help for Autism
- 13 How to Find a Therapist for Autism
- 14 Final Words
What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Symptoms typically start before two years of age and last a lifetime. There is no one-size-fits-all for children with ASD, but there are a number of therapies that can help.
The Three Main Types of Autism
There are three main types of autism that doctors and researchers recognize. Each type of autism has its own set of symptoms.
1. Autistic Disorder: This is what most people think of when they hear the word “autism.” People with autistic disorder have problems with social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
2. Asperger Syndrome: People with Asperger syndrome have problems with social interaction but do not have the same communication problems as those with autistic disorder. They might also have repetitive behaviors, but to a lesser degree than those with autistic disorder.
3. Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS): This diagnosis is given to people who have some, but not all, symptoms of autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism
Some early signs of autism include:
- Delay in speech and language development
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Unusual reactions to sights, sounds, smells, or touch
- Poor eye contact
- Lack of interest in playing with other children
- Lack of response to his or her name being called
- Persistent repetition of words or phrases (“echolalia”)
- Inflexible thinking
Read also: How Can the Therapist Help Autism Children?
How Can I Help My Child With Autism?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to help your child with autism will vary depending on their individual needs. However, there are a number of therapies for autistic kids that can be beneficial for children with autism. In this article, we will discuss some of the top therapies for autistic kids.
1. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science that looks at how people learn new things and how they can be helped to change their behavior. ABA is based on the idea that all behavior has a purpose.
Applied Behavior Analysis can be used to teach new skills and help people with autism change problem behaviors. ABA has been shown to be an effective treatment for autism.
There are different ways to do ABA. Some programs use a system of rewards and punishments to help people with autism learn new behaviors and stop problem behaviors.
Other programs focus on helping people with autism understand the meanings of words and gestures. Still, other programs teach people with autism how to imitate the behaviors of others.
ABA therapists work with people with autism of all ages, from infants to adults. They work with families, schools, and workplaces to help people with autism be as successful as possible.
2. Floor Time Therapies For Autistic Kids
Floor time is a therapy that was developed by Stanley Greenspan, M.D., and Serena Wieder, Ph.D. It’s based on the idea that all human beings, including those with autism, develop best when they feel connected to other people.
In floor time therapy, the therapist helps the child interact with other people and develop relationships. The therapist also helps the child develop new skills, such as communication and play.
Research on floor time therapy is limited, but one study found that it may help children with autism improve their social skills.
3. Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
Pivotal Response Training, or PRT, is a behavior modification technique that was developed specifically for children with autism. It is based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which is the most well-studied and evidence-based approach to Autism treatment.
PRT is considered to be a naturalistic, highly individualized form of ABA. It focuses on motivation and utilizes reinforcement to encourage desired behaviors. The goal of PRT is to help children with autism develop skills in the four pivotal areas: communication, socialization, play, and academics.
PRT has been found to be an effective treatment for autism in multiple research studies. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that PRT was associated with significant improvements in eye contact, verbal communication, and overall social engagement in children with autism.
If you are interested in pursuing PRT for your child with autism, we recommend that you consult with a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) to get started. BCBAs are trained professionals who can provide you with the resources and support you need to implement PRT effectively.
4. Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
RDI is a program that specifically focuses on social skills development. The goal of RDI is to help children with ASD build compensatory strategies to improve social, emotional, and communication skills.
It emphasizes the importance of the parent-child relationship and works to build a strong foundation of social interactions between the two.
RDI has six main goals:
- Fostering flexible thinking
- Experiencing the world from another person’s perspective
- Developing communication skills
- Building relationships
- Empowering parents
- Have fun!
RDI is science-based and research has shown that it can be an effective intervention for children with autism. A 2010 study found that RDI helped children with ASD develop social skills, including joint attention and imitation, and improved parent-child relationships.
5. Social Stories Therapies for Autistic kids
Social stories are a type of intervention that uses fictional stories, or “scripts,” to teach children with ASD about expected social behavior in specific situations ( Gray, 1994).
This therapy typically describes a social situation and includes specific information about what the child should do in that situation. For example, a social story about going to the dentist might describe what will happen at the appointment and how the child is expected to behave.
Social stories are usually written or selected by the child’s parent or therapist and are individualized to meet the child’s needs.
Social stories have been found to be an effective intervention for children with ASD. In one study, researchers found that using social stories helped children with ASD learn new tasks, improved their on-task behavior, and decreased problem behavior ( Dattilo & Wilczynski, 2002). Another study found that social stories helped increase cooperative play among children with ASD ( Wolery & Stahlman, 1989).
6. Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and Language Therapy is one of the top best therapies for autistic kids. It helps them to improve their communication skills. The therapist will help them to develop their speech and language skills by using different techniques such as picture communication, sign language, and other visual aids.
When Should I Seek Help?
If your child shows any signs of autism, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Autism is a lifelong condition, but early intervention can make a big difference. The earlier you seek help, the better the chances are that your child will be able to live a happy and fulfilling life.
When to Seek Help for Autism
If you suspect your child has autism, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Early intervention can make a big difference in the course of your child’s development.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children be screened for autism at their 18- and 24- month well-child visits. If a child does not receive an autism screening at one of these visits, he or she should be screened as soon as possible.
You can also talk to your child’s doctor if you have concerns about your child’s development, even if he or she has already been screened for autism.
If your child is diagnosed with autism, there are many resources and treatments available that can help your child reach his or her full potential.
How to Find a Therapist for Autism
If you’re the parent of a child with autism, you may be wondering when to seek help from a therapist. The earlier you can get your child started in therapy, the better.
Start by talking to your child’s doctor about your concerns. He or she may be able to refer you to a therapist who specializes in autism.
You can also ask your local school district for recommendations. Many schools have therapists on staff who are trained to work with children with autism.
If you prefer to see a private therapist, you can search for one online or in your local Yellow Pages. Be sure to interview several therapists before making your final selection.
Once you’ve found a therapist, he or she will likely start by doing an evaluation of your child’s skills and abilities. From there, the therapist will develop a treatment plan that may include behavioral therapy, speech therapy, and/or occupational therapy.
Therapy for autism can be costly, but there are many ways to pay for it. Many insurance plans cover at least some of the cost of therapy, and there are also many governments and private programs that can help with the cost of therapy.
It’s important to remember that there is no one “right” therapy for Autism, and what works for one child might not work for another. There are many different types of therapies for autistic kids available, and it’s important to find the one that’s right for your child. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your child’s doctor or a qualified therapist.