Autistic people have a lot of trouble with social interactions. They may also struggle to understand what others are thinking and saying, causing them to withdraw from difficult or stressful situations. One way that autistic children can develop their communication skills is through the use of early interventions for speech language therapy, occupational therapy, and other typical therapies for autism spectrum disorders.
The “Early Intervention for Autism” is a form of early intervention that can help children with autism. It includes three forms: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention, Early Intensive Speech and Language Intervention, and Early Intensive Occupational Therapy. Read more in detail here: what are the 3 forms of early intervention for autism.
When your kid is diagnosed with autism, early autistic therapies are the greatest method to assist their behavioral, cognitive, communicative, and social development.
Most children can be accurately diagnosed with autism around the age of two, thanks to advancements in diagnostic criteria. This means kids may get early intervention from applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists, who utilize an evidence-based approach to assist children with autism manage their symptoms and become as self-sufficient as possible.
Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social skills therapy, and other medical treatments may be required for certain children with autism. Some people with autism may need prescription drugs to treat issues such as an increased risk of seizures.
Some nonmedical therapies, particularly dietary and nutritional assistance, may be beneficial. These should never be used instead of medical treatment, which is often centered on behavior therapy.
Early Autistic Interventions: Behavioral Therapy Benefits Children the Most
There is no cure for autism since it is a developmental illness.
Pediatricians may now identify children based on behavioral and learning problems that develop between the ages of 6 months and 4 years old when diagnostic criteria improve. On average, more children are identified around the age of two, allowing them to receive behavior therapy and other early autism therapies.
The objective of early autistic therapies is to assist children with autism learn the abilities that their neurotypical counterparts learn around the age of two or three. These are some of them:
Coordination and physical strength.
Planning and problem-solving abilities are examples of thinking capabilities.
Skills in verbal and nonverbal communication.
There are various solutions available to assist youngsters who have been diagnosed with autism. The first line of treatment is behavior therapy, which is frequently provided by an applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapist.
Complementary therapies may be used in conjunction with ABA therapy to aid your kid. In general, there are four techniques to treating autism:
Behavioral and communication therapy are the emphasis of medical treatments.
Medication for illnesses that are connected.
Nutritional and dietary methods
Approaches to complementary and alternative medicine.
Autism has been classified as an autism spectrum disorder since the release of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). This enables doctors such as pediatricians to see that each kid has a distinct collection of behaviors, symptoms, problems, and strengths that will decide whether they fall into one of three degrees of autism severity.
Based on the sort of medical treatments your kid will need, a treatment plan will be developed, beginning with behavior therapy. Once you’ve started a medical treatment plan, you may talk to your child’s physician and ABA therapist about nonmedical approaches.
Medical Intervention for Autism Symptoms
Behavior therapy is the most effective basic medical intervention for most persons with autism. ABA therapy is an evidence-based treatment that use a variety of approaches to aid a child’s socialization, communication, and learning. These are abilities that can be honed with help. If a kid gets ABA treatment early in life, they will have a better chance of developing these abilities.
Your kid may benefit from the following early autism therapies as part of ABA therapy:
Intensive behavioral intervention from the start (EIBI). This sort of behavior therapy is intended for children under the age of five, and it is often included in treatment programs for children under the age of three. EIBI is a highly organized method that teaches beneficial behaviors like as social engagement and communication while minimizing undesirable behaviors such as emotional outbursts, self-injurious conduct, and hostility toward others. Therapists interact with children one-on-one, ensuring that each kid gets individualized attention from their ABA expert. Children with autism demonstrated gains in adaptive behaviors after undergoing EIBI treatment, according to recent research. Improved IQ, as well as expressive and receptive language abilities, were secondary impacts. However, the authors of one study concluded that the evidence in support of EIBI as the primary method of intervention was insufficient, and that additional research into its efficacy was required.
Denver’s Early Start Model (ESDM). This is another treatment option for children with autism who are diagnosed between the ages of 12 and 48 months. With the help of therapists and parents, the program employs playtime and games to help youngsters acquire better social relationships, increased language usage, and enhanced cognition. Joint interactions that are exciting and fulfilling for the youngster on a frequent basis foster continued development in these areas. Over the years, dozens of studies on the effectiveness of ESDM have been conducted, looking at improvements in both individual children with autism and groups of children in special education classes, finding that ESDM could work for younger children in a variety of settings depending on personal need. Most recent brain scan studies have shown that ESDM alters certain brain activity related to communication and social skills, indicating that it is one of the more successful and scientifically supported ways to early autism intervention.
Other medical procedures that may be used include:
Medications that need a prescription. Options for reducing the risk of seizures, which may be more prevalent in certain persons with autism, are among them.
Assistive technology is a kind of technology that helps people with disabilities. Communication boards or electronic tablets with text-to-speech technologies are examples of this.
Speech therapy is a kind of treatment that involves the use of This treatment may help to address speech impairments or strengthen muscles in the mouth that could otherwise make it difficult to produce words.
Occupational therapy is a term used to describe a kind of treatment This treatment emphasizes self-care skills such as personal hygiene, housekeeping, and food preparation.
Physical therapy is a kind of treatment that involves the use of Because many individuals with autism struggle with strength, this may help improve muscular tone and balance, develop exercise habits, and promote better overall bodies.
Therapy for social skills. This may be used in conjunction with ABA treatment or on its own, concentrating on how to communicate with others, such as for problem-solving or communication.
The ideal initial step in treatment is behavior therapy. Additional medical methods, such as those described above, may be recommended by an ABA therapist.
While nutritional and dietary assistance for autism is being researched more thoroughly, your ABA therapist or pediatrician is unlikely to prescribe supplementary or dietary therapy in addition to medical treatment for your kid. If you’re interested in these techniques, talk to your kid’s doctor about which therapies will work best for him or her and how they might help your child grow. However, it is critical to begin with evidence-based medical therapy.
Medical Early Autistic Interventions Can Be Supported by Nonmedical Early Autistic Interventions
Nutritional or dietary assistance is the most common nonmedical early autism intervention. Many children with autism have eating issues, such as food rejection, food avoidance, very restricted diets, difficulties with adjustments around mealtimes, and a greater prevalence of gastrointestinal troubles than their neurotypical classmates, prompting this approach.
According to medical research, children with autism have a greater prevalence of gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and upset stomach. According to certain studies, wheat protein (gluten) and milk protein (casein) may have a role in these issues.
Some parents are advised to feed their children gluten-free and dairy-free diets. This strategy seems to help some children with autism feel better, eat better, try new meals, and consume a broader variety of foods, according to anecdotal evidence. However, there is no unanimity on this method, and parents should see a doctor before making any changes to their child’s diet.
Given that many children with autism experience food avoidance or rejection, providing them with a nutritional supplement may help them maintain their physical health in the short term. After that, you may work with a behavior therapist to help your kid overcome their “picky eating” so they can grow into healthy people. Important vitamins and minerals may be found in dietary supplements, including:
Even if your kid benefits from taking a dietary supplement and eliminating gluten and dairy from his or her diet, it’s ideal to keep providing nutritional assistance. Working with a dietitian and an ABA therapist to minimize your child’s food fear and rejection is a common part of this process. Even if you continue to employ extra dietary supplements, including nutritious items like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats to your child’s diet will keep them healthier overall.
According to several studies, children with autism who get dietary supplements nevertheless suffer from nutritional inadequacies as a result of not receiving the attention and assistance they need to broaden their diet. The greatest method to gain sufficient nutrition is to eat entire meals, but children with autism require assistance with this.
Yoga, massage, aromatherapy or essential oils, acupuncture, and other speciality therapies may be beneficial to certain people, but they should never be used as a substitute for medical care. Consult your ABA therapist and pediatrician if you want to learn more about how complementary medicine might benefit your kid.
When Early Intervention Isn’t an Option, What Should You Do?
The effectiveness of therapies for adolescents and adults diagnosed with autism later in life is currently being investigated. People who aren’t identified until later in life may have milder symptoms and have established their own coping techniques for communication and learning difficulties. Instead of seeking autism therapy, they may seek treatment for depression or anxiety on their own. Before a medical expert can analyze and identify their symptoms, they may self-diagnose as autistic.
While there is little doubt that early intervention yields the greatest long-term effects, treatment may help individuals of any age. ABA treatment is often used by teenagers and adults, and it results in improved abilities and a decrease in undesirable behaviors. Make an appointment with a specialist to get evaluated so that you can receive proper therapy.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment and Intervention Services (Updated September 2019) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a U.S. government agency that (CDC).
Autism Treatment Starts Early (January 2017). The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development is a non-profit organization founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Young Children. (April 2018). The Cochrane Library is a collection of books published by the Cochrane
Denver’s Early Start Model (ESDM). Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about
Children with Autism, Developmental Delays, or Typical Development: Gastrointestinal Issues (May 15, 2015) The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders is a publication dedicated to the study of autism and developmental disorders.
Where Are We Now and Where Should We Go With Dietary Supplements for Autism Spectrum Disorder Core Symptoms? (Updated August 2017). Psychiatry’s New Frontiers.
Supplements often cause nutrient imbalances in children with autism. (June 15, 2015) Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about
“Early Intervention Autism Speech Therapy” is a term that is thrown around quite often, but what does it really mean?. Early intervention autism speech therapy is the best methods for children who are on the spectrum of autism. Reference: early intervention autism speech therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which early interventions are most effective in autism?
A: Early intervention is a process that starts with the first signs of autism in an individual and continues through adulthood. There are many types of early interventions, but some prominent ones include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), social-emotional learning programs such as Social Stories or PECS, and speech therapy.
Which is the best treatment method for individuals with autism?
A: There are many treatment methods for individuals with autism. Some of the best treatments include occupational therapy and speech language pathology, which both help in different ways to help improve someones cognitive development skills.
What is the best way to intervene the behaviors of an autistic child?
A: Autistic children may exhibit any number of behaviors. They may also have a specific sensory issue or impairment in one or more areas such as vision, hearing, speech and/or motor skills. In some cases their behavior can be helped by medication for autism spectrum disorder. As well as treatments that address the underlying causes of these issues like depression, anxiety etc…
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.