Autism treatment: Many people think that there is a standard treatment for autism, but there is no such treatment approach that suits all autistic children. Therefore, autism treatment and interventions are specific for an adult or a child according to their challenges, weaknesses and strengths. The autism treatment plan is therefore tailor-made or customized to address the specific needs of an individual.
Associated Medical Conditions
Apart from learning, social skills, attention lapses, behavioural challenges, communication difficulties, motor challenges, autistic children may have additional medical conditions – such as gastrointestinal trouble, seizures, sleep disturbances and learning difficulties. Addressing such issues can improve behaviour, learning and attention. In general, many children benefit from therapies that work on improving self-care, feeding, motor challenges, social skills, learning and communication.
New Treatment modalities are multidisciplinary involving novel therapies, behavioural interventions, parent-mediated interventions, medicines and a combination of all such approaches.
Autism Treatment Types
Types of Treatments: Different treatment approaches include social skills training, applied behaviour analysis (ABA), use of assistive technology, sensory integration therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Treatment modalities encompass medication, dietary approaches, behaviour and communication approaches, alternative and complementary medicine.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
The process involved in this type of approach is a reward-based motivation system. ABA encourages positive behaviour and discourages negative ones. Different types of ABA include early intensive behavioural intervention (EIBI) for very young children; Discrete Trial Training (DTT) with a positive reinforcement approach; Verbal Behaviour Intervention (VBI) to teach verbal skills; Pivotal Response Training (PRT) to improve child’s motivation to learn; and Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is a play and activity-based approach. All these highly structured approaches help build positive behaviours and reduce unwanted behaviours. Meet your paediatric neurologist for ABA therapy in Hyderabad.
Medicines help to manage anxiety, depressions, hyperactivity, inability to focus, seizures and self-injury. Some medicines help manage these symptoms well, but there are no medicines to cure Autism spectrum disorder. Medicines may not work similarly for all children. Parents should work closely with their experienced paediatric neurologist for good results.
This technique involves the use of electronic devices, tablets and communication boards to help autistic children interact and communicate with others. Trainers make use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) – symbols and pictures to teach communication skills.
Sensory integration therapy (SIT)
Autistic children and adults are very sensitive to light, sound and smell stimuli. Their amplified senses – as described by social integration therapy, makes it difficult for them to learn and gain positive behaviour. SIT helps in even out a child’s response to sensory stimuli by making them play with a rope or draw in the sand.
Speech therapy under the supervision of an expert speech pathologist tremendously helps in improving communication skills. It becomes more effective when speech pathologists work with a child’s family members, teachers and support personnel. In some children, non-verbal picture communication programs, sign language, use of gestures may help improve communication abilities.
This type of therapy helps parent learn the ways in which they can interact and play with their children to promote communication skills, social skills, behavioural skills and daily activities.
It helps children and adults learn the skills that are needed in their everyday life – such as taking self-care, holding a fork properly, button a shirt or any other everyday task – such as self-cleaning, washing, and also involves fine motor skills like handwriting as well. Autistic children will get better every day in everyday tasks.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
A type of talk therapy – CBT is an effective way to deal with autistic children and adults and help them learn the links between thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours. For trainers, CBT helps in identifying feelings and thoughts that trigger negative behaviours.
Dietary changes may have some sort of impact on children with autism. Parents can talk to their doctor about whether a consultation with a dietician will help.
Some parents and their child’s caretakers use treatments that are outside the purview of standard treatments recommended by paediatric neurologists, child psychologist and paediatricians. Such treatments are known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments. The products or services that are used as an alternative to or in addition to traditional approaches may include dietary supplements, special diets, biologicals or mind medicine. Most of these treatments have not been studied for effectiveness. Therefore, prior to starting such treatment talk to your paediatric neurologist.
Read More: Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment