Treatment for Autism
It is important for autism treatment to be started once a child's disability has been identified. Applied behavior analysis has become a widely accepted as an effective treatment for this condition. Before a parent makes a decision about their child's treatment, they should learn as much as they can about resources and programs available in their area.
Treatment for Autism: An IntroductionThere is no single best treatment for autism. One point that most professionals agree on is that early treatment is important; another is that most individuals with autism respond well to highly structured, specialized programs.
Before you make decisions on your child's autism treatment, you will want to gather information about the various treatments that are available. Learn as much as you can, look at all the options, and make your decision on your child's treatment based on your child's needs. You may want to visit public schools in your area to see the type of program they offer to special needs children.
Autism Treatment: Questions to AskGuidelines used by the Autism Society of America include the following questions parents can ask about potential treatment for autism:
- Are there assessment procedures specified?
- Has the treatment been validated scientifically?
- Will the treatment result in harm to my child?
- How will failure of the treatment affect my child and family?
- How will the treatment be integrated into my child's current program?
Do not become so infatuated with a given treatment that functional curriculum, vocational life, and social skills are ignored.
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests a list of questions parents can ask when planning for their child, including the following:
- How successful has the program been for other children?
- How are activities planned and organized?
- Are there predictable daily schedules and routines?
- How much individual attention will my child receive?
- How is progress measured?
- Will my child's behavior be closely observed and recorded?
- Will my child be given tasks and rewards that are personally motivating?
- Is the environment designed to minimize distractions?
- Will the program prepare me to continue the therapy at home?
- What is the cost, time commitment, and location of the program?
- How many children have gone on to placement in a regular school and how have they performed?
Do staff members have training and experience in working with children and adolescents with autism?