Behavioral approaches have the most evidence for treating ASD symptoms. They have become widely accepted among educators and health professionals and are used in many schools and treatment clinics. One notable behavioral treatment for people with ASD is called Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). There are several types of autism therapy available to help children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Autism is an autism spectrum disorder with a variety of conditions including problems with repetitive behaviors, social skills, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as maladaptive behaviors. Autism care is most effective when started early with young children, such as toddlers and newborns, who have developmental delays. Often referred to as therapeutic horseback riding, equestrian therapy allows children with autism to ride horses in a safe and unthreatened environment. The therapist is in charge of both the horse and the child.
According to research, therapeutic horseback riding improves social and communication skills, while reducing irritability and hyperactivity. When it comes to treating the challenging behaviors that accompany autism, behavioral therapy has decades of evidence to back it up, especially when children receive it early in their development. Applied behavioral analysis analyzes your child's behavior as a form of communication and teaches them more appropriate ways to communicate their needs. For example, if your child is running out of the classroom at school, you might be saying that he needs a break.
A behavioral therapist can identify what's behind challenging behavior and teach your child a better way to communicate their needs, such as telling them to take a break instead of running away. Make sure your therapist is trained in applied behavioral analysis to ensure that you use research-based strategies. Occupational therapy helps your child to be more independent in activities of daily living. Sessions can focus on life skills, such as eating or dressing, or on motor skills, such as holding a pencil or developing body coordination.
Occupational therapists use interactive activities to develop and strengthen the skills your child needs to be more independent. These therapists can also advise you on whether there are any adaptations or assistive technologies that can help your child succeed, such as a specialized grip for writing or noise-canceling headphones in certain environments. This specific type of occupational therapy focuses on the difficulty that many children with autism have in processing noises, sounds, lights, textures, and other sense-related triggers. The sessions teach your child to process these anxiety-producing triggers by gradually increasing their tolerance to them with play-based activities.
Research is starting to show that this approach helps the brain relearn to respond in a calmer and more positive way. A study showed that children who received sensory integration therapy, in addition to other ongoing therapies, achieved greater progress than their peers who omitted the sensory integration part. If your child has problems with stimuli such as the texture of food or the noise of a room full of people, sensory integration therapy could be a positive and effective way to address the problem directly. Therapy-based supports focus on specific skills or difficulties.
They are often used in combination with behavioral or developmental therapies and supports. Therapists are constantly refining the technique to make it more effective in treating anxiety and other problems. In these circumstances, it may be beneficial to use a type of therapy that treats both autism and the health condition itself. And best of all, these are therapies that can help parents create bonds with their children and, at the same time, develop skills.
This type of therapy can help improve speech and nonverbal communication skills, including signs, gestures, images, or an electronic speaking device. Parents can learn about Floortime and learn Floortime techniques by taking online courses, watching videos, reading books, or working with a Floortime therapist. While autism cannot be cured either at home or under the care of a professional, parents can provide aspects of six well-established and risk-free therapies on their own, without investing much time or money. The following is a summary of the main types of therapies and supports for autistic children, using behavioral, developmental, family-based, medical and alternative categories.
When creating a treatment plan for your family, the doctor can incorporate any of these therapies or a combination of them to help your child strengthen a variety of essential life skills. Alternative therapies and supports for autistic children include a wide range of therapies that conventional health and autism professionals don't use. Music therapy involves working with a therapist while listening to music to help improve emotional connections. Some therapies for autism focus on reducing problem behaviors and developing social and communication skills, while others address issues of sensory integration, motor skills, emotional problems, and food sensitivity.
For example, any behavioral therapy or support will be more effective if it is also family-based and includes therapies or developmental supports that focus on learning skills. Many parents can start these therapies by reading, watching videos, or attending classes online or in person. .