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Finding Their Way: The Impact of Therapy on Autistic Children

Autism, or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), is a neurological condition that affects how people communicate with and relate to others as well as experience their surroundings.

It is a complex disorder that likely results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Some studies also suggest that autism might have a link with certain substances present in medicines. For example, Tylenol, a medicine used to treat mild to moderate pain, has been found to have an association with autism when used by pregnant moms.

Legal action is being taken against the concerned authorities by the families whose children developed ASD after their mothers used the medicine during pregnancy.

If you or your known ones came across this type of situation, then you can also file a Tylenol Lawsuit and join the others.

Treatment Options

If you suspect that your baby has autism, the first step is to consult with a pediatrician or a developmental pediatrician, who can evaluate your child and make a diagnosis.

If your child is diagnosed with autism, starting interventions as early as possible is important. Early intervention can make a big difference in the long-term development of a child with autism.

There are many different treatment options for autism, and the best course of action will depend on your child’s specific needs and abilities. Some common interventions include:

Behavioral Therapy

The goal of behavioral therapy is to help children with autism learn new skills and reduce problem behaviors.

There are several different types of behavioral therapy that can be used to help children with autism, including:

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA): This is the most widely used and research-supported form of behavioral therapy for autism. ABA focuses on teaching new skills and reducing problem behaviors by breaking them down into small, manageable steps. It also uses a system of rewards and consequences to reinforce desired behaviors.

According to the Surgeon General’s autism treatment report, therapies using applied behavior analysis account for 45% of those that develop long-lasting and observable results.

Verbal Behavior Therapy (VBT): VBT teaches children to use language effectively by linking words with their meanings. VBT is based on the principles of ABA and is often used in conjunction with it.

Developmental, Individual-difference, Relationship-based (DIR) therapy: also known as Floortime, is an approach that develops the child’s emotional, social, and communication aspects and builds meaningful relationships and interactions with caregivers.

Speech And Language Therapy

Speech therapists can help children with autism develop their verbal communication skills. This includes teaching them how they can use words to express their wants and needs, how to initiate and maintain conversations, and how to understand the meanings of words and phrases.

Language therapists help autistic children to develop their understanding and use of language, including grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. They may also teach children with autism how to understand and use nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language, in social interactions.

Speech-language pathologists can also focus on helping children with autism to develop a pragmatic language which includes social skills necessary for effective communication, such as turn-taking in conversation, understanding idioms and humor, and staying on topic.

Speech and language therapy can also include teaching children with autism how to use alternative forms of communication, such as sign language or picture communication systems, if they are having difficulty with verbal communication.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can be very beneficial for children with autism because it focuses on helping them develop the skills they need to participate in the activities of daily life. This can include things like self-care skills (such as dressing, brushing teeth, and eating), social skills, and fine motor skills (such as writing or using scissors).

Occupational therapists work with children to identify any challenges or barriers that are preventing them from participating in daily activities and then create a plan to help them overcome those challenges. They may use various techniques and tools, such as play-based activities, sensory integration techniques, and adaptive equipment, to help children develop the skills they need.

For children with autism, occupational therapists may also focus on helping them develop their ability to tolerate different types of sensory input, such as noise or touch. Some children with autism can become easily overwhelmed by certain types of sensory input which can make it difficult for them to participate in everyday activities. An occupational therapist can work with a child to help them develop a greater tolerance for different types of sensory input, which can make it easier for them to participate in daily life. You can also read about Autism and Sensory issues here.

Social Skills Training

The goal of SST is to teach children the social skills that are typically developed in early childhood, such as making eye contact, initiating and sustaining conversation, and understanding social cues.

SST typically involves a combination of direct instruction, modeling, role-playing, and other interactive activities. During therapy sessions, children with autism work with a therapist or trained professional to practice these social skills in a safe and structured environment. 

There are several different approaches to SST, but they all share the goal of helping children with autism learn how to navigate social interactions more successfully.  

Social skills training should be tailored to the individual needs of the child, and it is best to consult with a professional such as a therapist, psychologist, or specialist that works with autism to develop the best plan that fits the child’s specific needs.

It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for autism, and what works for one child may not work for another. Work with your child’s healthcare providers and therapist to develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your child’s specific needs and abilities.

It’s also important to remember that therapy can be hard work for both the child and the parents, but with patience and persistence, most children with autism can make significant progress and learn the skills they need to live happy and fulfilling life.

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