Living with autism, especially for children can be quite hard. While it is a mental disorder that will not go away completely. However, some therapies can make living with it easier. These therapies help children with autism improve their capabilities, reduce their symptoms, and even learn new skills.
The best time to start therapy is as early as possible. Parents should look for effective therapies as soon as the child is diagnosed with ASD. In some cases, you can also therapy as soon as your child shows symptoms. You do not always have to wait for a formal diagnosis to start therapy.
However, the real challenge is choosing the right therapy methods for your child. Many therapy techniques are available for children suffering from autism. Each method has its own set of benefits and focuses points. You need to understand which one your child needs the most. Some therapies are more wholesome and deal with most of the symptoms of autism.
Here are some of the most common therapies that you can choose from for your child suffering from Autism.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
One of the most well known and most sought after therapy, the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).It is most effective when it comes to children with autism. This therapy has been in practice for more than 50 years and is quite scientific. It approaches, playing, communicating, self-care, and social skills. It is scientific and well-researched.
Many types of research show that it truly helps children with autism adapt better to society.
ABA includes a therapist who breaks down the skills into categories with the help of repetition, reinforcement, and encouragement. All of these methods help the child to recognize the ideal behavior. The therapist first observes the child’s capabilities and notes down the skills that will benefit the child the most. Even if the child is resisting to learn those skills, the therapist tries to include and teach it to them.
ABA is usually one of the first therapy methods that children with autism spectrum disorders should go through. Therapists suggest that at least 40 hours a week, in a classroom-based program is necessary for children with autism.
There are different types of ABA:
- Discrete Trial Training (DTT): This method breaks down basic life skills like brushing teeth into simple steps. The therapist starts to explain every step including how to hold a brush.
- Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI): This type of ABA focuses on starting as early as possible. Children as young as five years start to learn basic skills and simple communication ways.
- Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT): This therapy mainly focuses on the main aspects of the child’s life. It deals with major life changes and how a child suffering from autism can handle it effectively.
- Verbal Behavior Intervention (VBI): This therapy focuses on the verbal abilities of the child.
Speech therapy focuses on the speaking skills of children suffering from autism, and help them to work on that. This also involves non-verbal skills like body language. Children with autism are often unable to hold eye contact. This therapy also focuses on that aspect.
Through this therapy, the children learn to use symbols, images, computers, and even sign language. This helps them to communicate in a much more effective way. They learn to improve their body language and also how to use and understand gestures.
Speech therapy works best when the therapist is in constant contact with the children, their parents, and their teachers. Children suffering from autism have to practice these skills every day at regular intervals. The child needs to practice it multiple times for it to be effective.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
This type of therapy teaches children with ASD to trade pictures for activities or objects. This is mainly designed for children who are unable to speak or understand. PECS only works on those who are interested in activities, foods, or toys.
The main aim of this therapy is to help the child adjust to a community. It helps children with autism to interact with different social classes and to form long-lasting bonds with others. This is usually done by activities such as role-playing and practice. These classes are conducted by licensed therapists who are well versed in this kind of therapy.
Floortime mainly focuses on the relationship aspect. In this therapy, the child will learn how to make friends and have a good family bond. It deals with the development of feelings and relationships with caregivers.
Through this therapy children also learn to deal with visuals, sounds, and smells.
Horseback Riding or Hippotherapy
Often called the Hippotherapy, this therapy is unique. In this therapy, a child suffering from autism rides a house under the supervision of a therapist. While this might seem quite different, it is also quite beneficial. Riding is a type of physical therapy. It requires the rider to react and to adjust with the movements of the animals.
This helps the children improve their social and speaking skills. It also makes them less hyperactive.
Use Of Assistive Tech
Due to the advent of technology, you will find many assistive gadgets that can severely help children with autism. These devices include communication boards and electric tablets. These help children communicate with others effectively. For example, children can use pictures and symbols on their tablets to communicate. They can learn communication and words through the visuals on the tablet.
Some children suffering from autism use speech-generating devices to communicate.
All of these therapies are safe and effective. However, one must always remember that every therapy is a work in progress. You will not see results instantly, and your child might even resist going to therapy. Some therapies are also labor-intensive and costly. This can also be a problem for some.
Choosing the right therapy for your child can also be a gamble. Sometimes you might have to change therapies multiple times to find the right one. Yet, these therapies are some of the most effective methods to help children suffering from autism. They have the power to help your child develop new skills and even reduce their symptoms if they are practiced thoroughly. Just take your time, and find the right fit got your child to see wonderful outcomes.