Autism is a complex developmental disorder that has no cure. Though children are not cured from autism, early intervention and treatment allows those with autism to develop, learn and interact with others. Parents have several care options available to help them through the challenge of raising a child with autism.
Behaviour modification is a method of autism care that helps the autistic child and their parents promote appropriate behaviour while minimising unwanted behaviour. It is often broken into a few areas.
Applied behaviour analysis is the basic behaviour modification which works through a reward's system. This method of behaviour modification encourages an autistic child to start acting more appropriately by giving a treat or reward for doing the tasks or acting in a way that parents want.
Sensory integration therapy is another type of behaviour modification that works on helping an autistic child cope with the sensory information they encounter every day. Since many autistic children react to sensory information differently, such as getting upset over certain noises or colours, this type of behaviour modification works on improving the reaction to the stimulation.
Play therapy is another option among the behaviour modification treatment options parents might make use of. Play therapy focuses on the social interactions of autistic children and helps them learn appropriate ways to handle different social situations. Since autistic individuals often have difficulties with social situations, this type of treatment teaches how to interact and what is not appropriate.
Communicating is a challenge for most autistic individuals, even those who are considered high functioning. Caring for an autistic child often requires incorporating some communication treatment.
Speech therapy is perhaps the most obvious communication therapy option available. Speech therapy focuses on teaching someone with autism how to speak. Unfortunately, some autistic individuals never begin speaking, even with therapy.
Fortunately, another type of communication treatment helps parents and autistic children communicate without using words. A picture exchange communication system, or PECS, is a method of communicating through pictures. Parents draw pictures to represent what they are asking or telling the child about and the autistic child draws pictures to show what they want or need.
Alternative care for those with autism varies depending on the parents and doctors. The methods are not necessarily backed by science, but doctors note that no one therapy is effective for every autistic individual so adding an option or two that is not medical might help some autistic children.
Dietary changes combined with vitamin supplements are not scientifically studied. Though studies are lacking, a healthy diet is always beneficial to childhood growth and development, so combined with therapy might help some autistic children.
Music therapy or vision therapy is sometimes helpful, particularly for sensory stimulation.
Some parents might consider adding yoga or similar lessons to a child's regimen to help develop fine motor skills.
The appropriate care and treatment for any autistic child varies. Each autistic child will react differently to different treatments, so no one treatment is effective for every child's needs.
For more information on Autism Care.
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