When you are a new parent, it might be hard for you to let anyone other than your spouse handle that brand new baby. You might wince in terror as your mother struggles to comfort your new daughter, or starkly refuse when your grimy little brother asks to hold the baby. However, after awhile, most parents loosen up. Unfortunately, if you get too laid-back about childcare, you might make decisions that could impact your kid's education. My blog discusses several aspects of child care, so that you can decide what will work best for your family. After all, a few difficult decisions now could impact your kid for many years to come.
What do parents need to know about autism therapy? If your child was recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), take a look at the whats, whys, and whens of therapy.
What Is ASD Therapy?
Nearly one in every 44 children has an ASD diagnosis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even though a growing number of children with this diagnosis (the CDC's data shows the number jumped from one in 150 in 2000 to one in 88 in 2008 to the current statistic), autism doesn't have a cure. But there are therapeutic treatments that can reduce some of the symptoms.
Therapy for ASD doesn't look the same for each child. There are a few different options that are used alone or in combination—depending on the child's individual needs. The broad or main categories of treatment include autism behavior therapy, developmental approaches, educational interventions, social-relational therapy, pharmacological (prescription medication) options, psychological counseling, and complementary or alternative medicine.
What Is Behavioral Therapy?
As the name implies, behavioral therapy for ASD helps to change the child's unwanted behaviors. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the most notable behavioral approaches. Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Pivotal Response Training (PRT) are ABA teaching methods that help the child learn new skills, improve attention/focus, and decrease problematic behaviors at school, at home, or in other social situations.
Why Choose ASD Therapy?
Again, there is no cure for ASD. Therapeutic approaches (such as ABA) can help the child overcome social, emotional, cognitive, and academic challenges. This makes it possible for the child to enter the school setting and continue their education, interact with family and friends socially, and communicate in appropriate or meaningful ways.
When Should A Child Start ASD Therapy?
The answer to this question is usually the sooner the better. Even though a new diagnosis isn't easy to process or manage, you shouldn't wait for your child to start therapy. If your child is a young toddler, their medical, developmental, behavioral, or other providers may recommend waiting until they reach age two to start behavior-based therapy.
Even though early intervention services that start as soon as the child is diagnosed have the most benefits, it's not too late to begin therapy. If your child has an ASD diagnosis and hasn't started therapy, talk to their doctor or other medical practitioners about beginning treatment as soon as possible. An autism specialist can help your family to find a therapeutic approach or treatment program that meets your child's developmental and other needs.