Monday, May 6, 2013

Early Intervention Helps In Better Treatment Of Autism

Each autistic individual has a unique set of problems and deficiencies that cannot be grouped under a broader category. Therefore, the treatment chart for every autistic child, or adult needs to be planned creatively and intuitively in such a way that the individual can participate in the activities and not have adverse reactions to them. Autism treatment varies according to the individual case and hence, they must be planned keeping the specific needs of the patient in mind.
Intervention can be made by adopting medicines, or behavioral therapies, or even both in some cases. Autistic individuals often have accompanying disorders like sleep deficiency, gastrointestinal distress, and seizures. Treating these conditions will help to improve focus, attentiveness and capability of data retention.
Behavioral therapy, in its early stages involves co-operation between the family members and the group of professionals. In some cases, therapists often conduct the sessions at the home of the autistic individual. These programs include parent training, as the parents conduct the sessions under the supervision and guidance of the trained professional. In case of other programs, the sessions are conducted in classrooms, preschool or specialized centers.
Methods of intervention and therapy need to be open-ended and flexible so that they can be tweaked slightly to suit the specific needs as the patients condition improves. For instance, when autistic children are enrolled into school, then they would benefit greatly from specialized teaching approaches and targeted training of social skills. Autistic adolescents, on the other hand are inclined to benefit and learn greatly from vocational skills that train them to become independent, and also helps them to find a suitable mode of employment.
Types Of Early Intervention Remedial Procedures That Are Available
Scientific studies and research have confirmed two early intervention methods to be beneficial for the treatment of autism. The first procedure is the Early Start Denver Model, while the second is Lovass Model which is based on ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis. Other behavioral therapies like Floortime, Verbal Behavior Therapy and Pivotal Response Therapy have also yielded positive results.
Options For Treating Preschool Children And Toddlers
For an autistic child, the sooner the treatment starts, the better are the results. Early intervention with intensive behavioral therapies help to improve social skills, communication and learning. Although the results vary from one child to another, every child certainly benefits. Extensive observation and research has helped doctors and therapists to chalk out a number of therapeutic and activity-based methods that will benefit autistic children and help them to develop their social, vocal and cognitive skills. Some of them are as follows:
The autistic child is made to participate in well-structured therapeutic activities for a minimum of 25 hours every week.
Only extremely well-trained teachers and therapists conduct these intervention sessions. Paraprofessionals may also conduct these sessions, but strictly under the guidance of their superiors.
Each session has a well-planned objective. The session administrators carefully record and evaluate the child's ability to complete the task and meet the set objectives.
The activities are planned in such a way that specific problem areas are addressed. The main areas of concentration are the child's social skills, linguistic and communication skills, imitation, motor skills and play skills.
These activities are conducted in such a way that an autistic child has the opportunity to interact and communicate with similarly developing peers.
Parents are actively engaged, as they play an important role in the decision-making process.
A multi-disciplinary team of therapists generally conduct these sessions. The team includes a physician, occupational therapist and linguistic pathologist.
A very minor percentage of autistic children have recorded complete recovery. Such cases, as is often speculated, may be a result of initial misdiagnoses, the effectiveness of medicines and therapy, or the ability of the body's immune system to fight the specific debilitations and overcome them. In other cases, the specific symptoms of autism can be controlled with regular treatment, and thereby help the child to develop faculties, traits and skills that make him/her more socially acceptable, and adept to find a suitable employment opportunity.
Milan Zones is a researcher working in a center that is devoted to the training of autistic children. In this article, he provides important information about early intervention and Autism Treatment California.
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