Fact sheet for information on treatment for Autism, an Autism Spectrum Disorder


There is a broad array of autism therapies, but the efficacy of each varies dramatically from person to person. The vital key is early diagnosis and early intervention. Autism is a developmental disorder and early support for the child reduces their developmental delays as they get older.


Progress toward development of medical and behavior modification remedies, for the more debilitating affects of autism, has been hindered significantly by widespread disagreements over such things as the nature and causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and by a relative lack of therapies effective in most cases, that are also recognized by medical authorities.


Therapies for autism early intervention

Intervention usually involve coordinating various therapies to address the core symptoms of autism:
• poor communication skills
• obsessive or repetitive routines
• physical clumsiness.


Asperger's syndrome and high-functioning autism may be considered together for the purpose of clinical management. A typical autism intervention program may include:
• social skills training, to teach the skills to more successfully interact with others
• cognitive behavioral therapy for managing emotions, obsessions and repetitive routines
• medication, for co-existing conditions such as depression and anxiety
• occupational or physical therapy for issues with sensory integration and motor coordination
• specialized speech therapy, to learn the “give and take” in normal conversation
• parent training and support, to teach parents behavioral techniques to use at home.

While medication may play a part in intervention, unintended side effects have largely been ignored in the literature about intervention programs for children or adults, and there are claims that some interventions are not ethical and do more harm than good.


Tips on selecting therapies for autism

Therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorders are continually developing, and can present a bewildering array of approaches, costs, benefits and waiting lists to parents who may still be reeling from the impact of their child being diagnosed. Although parents may feel a sense of urgency to find therapies quickly, in the long term it is advisable to put time, research and discussion into your choice.


The therapy should be designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. If it focuses specifically on autism, so much the better. The therapists should also take time to observe and assess your child, then discuss the theory behind the therapy, how it is works, and its suitability in your child's case.


An experienced therapist will acknowledge and respect your role as a parent. You know your child best and your involvement should be emphasized. The therapy should also provide parents with strategies to implement in the home environment. Ideally a therapy should give you practical approaches to use in general life situations.

Do some research through books, the Internet and autism associations on the therapy, to see when it was developed, how widely it is used and its evaluation from autism specialists. Unfortunately, therapies are often very expensive. Don't feel that you are neglecting your child if you can't afford the more expensive interventions like Applied Behavior Analysis; the most expensive interventions are not necessarily always the best ones. Your local autism association should be able to inform you on subsidies, government treatments and other options available.


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This autism fact sheet is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation. It is derivative of an autism and Aspergers-related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org

Interventions for Autism usually addressed communication skills, repetitive behaviors and physical coordination