In the United States, 1 in 44 children gets diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is no one way to treat autism because each child is unique. There are many therapy options for children with ASD, and early intervention is imperative.
We’ve compiled the most common options for therapy for autism. Read on to learn these options and which may be best for your child.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis, like that provided at CV Lighthouse, is based on the science of behavior and learning. It helps us to know how behavior works and how the environment affects it.
The main goal of ABA is to increase helpful behaviors and decrease harmful behaviors. It is done through understanding behavior and how it applies to real-life situations. It allows those with autism to gain and use life skills.
ABA is a flexible therapy that can adapt to meet the needs of each child with autism. One of the main strategies in behavioral therapy is positive reinforcement. Each time the child uses the desired behavior, the therapist will reward the child.
With ABA, therapists also strive to understand what leads to a particular behavior. They also look at what happens after the behavior occurs. Doing this will help them redirect or replace undesired behavior.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Children with ASD often have low muscle tone. They also can struggle with gross motor coordination. PTs can help with these issues and allow children to become more confident in play.
PTs use therapeutic play to improve large-quality movements such as walking and posture. They also work with children to improve balance and coordination. It allows children to work on basic motor skills like standing and rolling.
Often those with ASD struggle with communication and language. Some children cannot talk, and some do not understand body language and facial expressions. Speech therapy can help these children learn to communicate effectively.
One common way speech therapists work on this is to strengthen the mouth and jaw muscles. They also help children match facial expressions to the correct emotion. They may help children find a way to communicate without speaking, such as using pictures.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Using occupational therapy for autism therapy helps children become more independent. Occupation therapy focuses on life skills such as dressing, eating, and grooming. They also work on fine motor skills like writing and cutting with scissors.
OTs will test the current skill level of the child before starting therapy. This allows them to tailor the therapy to the specific needs of the child. They will watch how the child plays and interacts with the surrounding environment.
Choosing the Best Therapy for Autism
Each child is unique and will need different therapy for autism. Working with your child’s doctor will help you learn which therapy is right for your child.
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