Although there might be no cure for autism, it does not mean that interventions are not effective. They can help reduce the symptoms. Since social and communication challenges play a huge role in the autism diagnosis, a treatment plan that focuses on behavior and speech is created. However, each child is unique. Hence, there is no such thing as a single educational plan for every child.
Generally, behavioral therapy is considered to be the most successful approach for helping autistic kids. A common misconception that most people have is that they believe that behavioral interventions are only suitable for children that suffer the most. But, it could not be further from the truth. Behavioral therapy is important for developing social skills and is useful for all autistic kids.
Benefits of Long-Term Behavioral Therapy
When it comes to determining which behavioral therapy approach to follow, parents can end up feeling overwhelmed. With different approaches available, it can be difficult to decide which one to follow. For instance, schools tend to enroll children with autism into a mainstream schooling program early on. It can have an adverse effect as it hampers the progress of the autistic child. Children that undergo ongoing therapy have an easier time outgrowing their diagnosis. Through more intervention in the beginning, it is possible for the autistic kids to acquire age-appropriate skills and easily transition into a mainstream program.
Now, it can be tough to choose the right behavioral therapy for your kid. To ensure success, a logical plan that is flexible at the same time is needed. Progress has to be monitored and adjustments need to be made accordingly. Currently, there is no research which reveals which type of intervention is the best. Therefore, we only know that continuing behavioral therapy is beneficial for children.
A great thing about behavioral intervention is the fact that it is safe and effective at the same time. However, it can be quite costly as it is labor-intensive. Behavioral therapy is available in a number of styles. Thus, picking the right therapy can be tough. But, it is still the most reliable technique for developing skills in autistic children.
Behavioral Therapies for Autism
1. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is possibly the most-researched option out there. It has been used for helping children with autism for the past 50 years. Offering a scientific approach, ABA for autism is highly structured. It teaches kids how to play, communicate, and develop social living and academic skills, and self-care. Research reveals that it helps improve the symptoms of autistic children. The therapist would break down skills and reinforce them through repetition and encouragement.
2. Verbal Behavior Therapy (VBT)
Another type of behavior therapy is VBT. It is designed for non-vocal children and focuses on teaching them how to communicate. The speech therapist teaches children to use words functionally. The approach aims to move kids beyond labeling to vocalize their desires.
3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Finally, CBT was first introduced in the 1960s. It is most suitable for children that have mild symptoms. The approach aims to ensure that the child improves on triggers early on. Practical responses are taught by the therapist through practice.
Behavioral therapy for autism treatment is effective. All you need to do is see a behavioral therapy specialist to determine the best treatment plan for your autistic child.