The goal of current therapies for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is to lessen symptoms that affect everyday life and quality of life. Because ASD has a distinct impact on each individual, each person with ASD has different strengths, problems, and treatment needs. As a result, treatment programs frequently involve several specialists and are tailored to the person.
Treatments may be offered in a variety of venues, including those related to education, health, the community, or the home. To make sure that treatment goals and progress are meeting expectations, it is crucial that professionals communicate with one another, the person with ASD, and their family.
Additional supports can help with health and everyday functioning as well as social and community engagement as people with ASD graduate from high school and enter adulthood. Some people may require assistance in order to find work, finish job training, continue their education, secure housing, and access transportation.
How Many Types Of Autism Treatment Are There?
There are numerous therapy options. Although some therapies include several different approaches, these treatments can typically be divided into the following categories:
- Complementary and Alternative
Developmental approaches concentrate on enhancing a narrow range of interconnected developmental abilities, such as language skills or motor skills, or a broader range of developmental abilities. Behavioral and developmental techniques are frequently integrated.
For those with ASD, speech and language therapy is the most popular developmental therapy. The person’s comprehension and use of speech and language are both improved by speech and language therapy. Some ASD sufferers use verbal communication. Others may use signs, gestures, images, or an electronic communication device to communicate.
The goal of occupational therapy is to help the patient live as independently as feasible. Dressing, eating, taking a shower, and interacting with others are examples of skills. Also possible in occupational therapy are:
Sensory Integration Therapy: Improved reactions to sensory input that may be restricting or overpowering can be achieved through sensory integration therapy.
Physical Therapy: Physical skills, such as little finger movements or bigger movements of the trunk and body, can be improved through physical therapy.
The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a comprehensive developmental strategy based on Applied Behavior Analysis concepts, was created. It is applied to kids 12 to 48 months old. To enhance language, social, and learning abilities, parents and therapists use play, social interactions and shared attention in natural environments.
Behavioral techniques concentrate on altering behaviors by comprehending what takes place prior to and following the behavior. The most effective methods for addressing ASD symptoms are behavioral ones. They are employed in numerous schools and treatment facilities and have gained widespread acceptance among educators and medical experts. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a well-known behavioral therapy for people with ASD. To enhance a number of skills, ABA promotes desired behaviors while discouraging undesirable ones. Progress is monitored and quantified.
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Pivotal Response Training are two ABA teaching philosophies (PRT).
- DTT teaches a desired behavior or response through detailed instructions. Lessons are simplified, and responses and actions that are desired are rewarded. Unwanted responses and actions are disregarded.
- Instead of taking place in a clinic, PRT occurs outdoors. PRT aims to enhance a few “pivotal abilities” that will aid in the learner’s acquisition of numerous other skills. The ability to start a conversation with someone is an illustration of a crucial talent.
Treatments for education are provided in a classroom setting. The Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH) approach is one form of educational strategy. The foundation of TEACCH is the notion that persons with autism benefit greatly from consistency and visual learning. It gives teachers options for changing the setup of the classroom to enhance academic and other results. Daily schedules, for instance, can be written down or illustrated, then displayed in plain sight. Learning stations can have boundaries put around them. Visual cues or hands-on demonstrations can supplement verbal instructions.
People with ASD can benefit from psychological strategies to manage their anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. One psychological strategy that emphasizes understanding the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors is cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). In CBT, the patient and therapist jointly decide on goals before the patient changes how they think about a situation in order to change how they react to it.
Complementary and Alternative Treatment
Some people, including parents, employ therapies that don’t fall under any of the other categories. These procedures are referred to as complementary and alternative procedures. Alternative and complementary therapies are frequently utilized in conjunction with more conventional methods. Specialized diets, herbal supplements, chiropractic adjustments, art therapy, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques are a few examples. Before beginning a complementary and alternative treatment, patients and their families should always see their doctor.
The goals of social-relational therapies are to increase social competence and foster close relationships. Parents or peer mentors may be used in several social-relational strategies.
- In order to increase communication possibilities, the Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based paradigm (commonly known as “Floor time”) encourages parents and therapists to follow the interests of the child.
- Activities under the Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) paradigm aim to boost participants’ talents, motivation, and interest in engaging in social relationships.
- Social Stories offer brief explanations of what to anticipate in social settings.
- People with ASD have the chance to practice social skills in a structured setting by joining social skills groups.
The primary signs and symptoms of ASD cannot be treated by medicine. Co-occurring symptoms are treated with several drugs, which can improve ASD patients’ functioning. For instance, medication may be used to regulate excessive energy, difficulty concentrating, or self-destructive tendencies like head banging or hand biting. Medication can be used to treat medical diseases including seizures, sleep disorders, and stomach or other gastrointestinal issues in addition to co-occurring psychological conditions like anxiety or depression.
When thinking about using a medication, it’s crucial to engage with a doctor who has experience treating patients with ASD. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications fall under this category. To ensure that adverse side effects don’t occur, people, families, and medical professionals must collaborate to track development and reactions.
For people with ASD, various treatments might be accessible. To learn more, consult a physician or other healthcare professional.