Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Autism and Its Treatment Categories

Autism, which is a spectrum disorder, is believed to affect approximately one out of every 150 people. As autism awareness has grown, so have the known treatments. As few as 50 years ago, children with severe autism were considered "defective", and parents would be pressured to have their children committed to a mental institution. Today, treatments help these individuals become fully functioning members of society.

As a spectrum disorder, this means that some individuals function better than others. Autism is a social development disorder, often associated with poor language development and social skills. Learning how to overcome these barriers can help parents and educators effectively deal with the autistic child.


Children with autism often have a difficult time in the traditional classroom. Under the ADA act, teachers and administrators are legally bound to provide services for autistic children. Since there is no cure at this time for this condition, many schools are developing behavior intervention. This works best when created in conjunction with parental involvement.

Often in behavioral intervention, the parent, teacher or therapist will use rewards to get the desired results from the child. Praise, treats, or free time are often effective in keeping the child on task for desired activities.

The cost for implementing these programs may seem high, but when compared to supporting a non-treated autistic person the return is high.


Parents with autistic children often get stares and rude comments from people who don't understand autism. The most effective way to deal with outside comments is to focus on your child, and develop a thick skin for other's opinions. When your child is introduced to a new location, or responds negatively to an environment, then you need to practice calming techniques. Rub your child's palms, and just wait calmly until the episode has passed.

Autistic children perform much better when there is a routine. In order to circumvent blowups, keep a routine in place as much as possible with your child. When there will be a change in routine, make sure your child has plenty of warning so he/she can anticipate the changes and adjust.


There is no cure for autism, but there are medical treatments that can help. Therapy, including occupational therapy, physical and speech/language therapy is used to teach life skills. Applied behavioral analysis is also a method used, with a behavioral psychologist teaching the child skills at home. This is generally cost-prohibitive for many parents.

Medications can't fix the autism, but are frequently used to modify some of the secondary behaviors. Autistic children frequent experience aggression, anxiety, sleeping problems, hyperactivity, and compulsive behavior. Medications can be prescribed to modify some of these behaviors so that behavioral modification can be successful.

Dealing with an autistic child can be a huge challenge, but it is definitely not insurmountable. Every parent that has an autistic child needs to find a support group where ideas can be shared.

Find a pediatrician that can refer you to strong resources to help with your child. If your doctor isn't satisfactory, then you have to be the advocate for your child, and find someone who will help.

Implementing a combination of therapies at home, school and through your doctor, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your child may never be just like the other kids, but you have a really special kid!

Get more information about child and adult autism treatments at the Life Vessel of the Rockies, an autism treatment center

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