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Treatment of Autism

Scientists agree that the earlier in life a child receives early intervention services the better the child’s prognosis. All children with autism can benefit from early intervention, and some may gain enough skills to be able to attend mainstream school. Research tells us that early intervention in an appropriate educational setting for at least two years prior to the start of school can result in significant improvements for many young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As soon as autism is diagnosed, early intervention instruction should begin. Effective programs focus on developing communication, social, and cognitive skills.

Early diagnosis of ASD, coupled with swift and effective intervention, is paramount to achieving the best possible prognosis for the child. Even at ages as young as six months, diagnosis of ASD is possible. Regular screenings by pediatric psychiatrists are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The most effective treatments available today are applied behavioral analysis (ABA), occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and pharmacological therapy. Treatment works to minimize the impact of the core features and associated deficits of ASD and to maximize functional independence and quality of life. In 2012, the Missouri Guidelines Initiative summarized the findings from 6 reviews on behavioral and pharmacological interventions in autism. The consensus paper includes current evidence of what interventions have been studied and shown effective, why or why not.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) works to systematically change behavior based on principles of learning derived from behavioral psychology. ABA encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative behaviors. In addition, ABA teaches new skills and applies those skills to new situations

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is a type of ABA for very young children with an ASD, usually younger than five, often younger than three.

Pivotal Response Training is a variation of ABA that works to increase a child’s motivation to learn, monitor his own behavior, and initiate communication with others by focusing on behaviors that are seen as key to learning other skills, such as language, play, and social skills. This training works to generalize skills across many settings with different people.

Discrete trial teaching is a common form of ABA, in which what is being taught is broken down into smaller steps, and taught using prompts and rewards for each step. Prompts and rewards are phased out over time.

Lovaas Model consists of 20-40 hours of highly structured, discrete trial training, integrating ABA techniques into an early intervention program. The intervention typically begins when the child is between the ages of 2-8 years old, and no later than 12 years old. The technique utilizes child-specific reinforcers to motivate and reward success. Additionally, the use of language and imitation are crucial for the teaching model.

Early Start Denver Model is an early intervention program designed for infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers ages 12-48 months with autism. Developed by Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., and Sally Rogers, Ph.D., it is the only experimentally verified early-intervention program designed for children with autism as young as 18 months old. ESDM applies the principles of ABA to an early-intervention program. Similar to Pivotal Response Training, interventions are delivered within play-based, relationship-focused routines. Studies testing the efficacy of the treatment have found the intervention “resulted in significant improvements in IQ, language, adaptive behavior, and autism diagnosis”.

 

 

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder-ASD How common is autism
Where Did the Term “Autism” Come From-History How do autistic people see the world
Causes of Autism Reducing the risk of Autism at pregnancy stage
Symptoms of Autism Is there a cure for Autism
Diagnosis of Autism Parental Guidance for Autistic child

 

 


 

References:

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/history-of-autism

autismsciencefoundation.org/what-is-autism/treatment-options/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism/helping-children-with-autism.htm

https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/asd/intro-easyread.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/parenting-child-with-autism-special-challenges

talkspace.com/blog/2015/04/5-ways-to-manage-stress-while-raising-a-child-with-autism/

autismsciencefoundation.org/what-is-autism/how-common-is-autism/

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/screening.html

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