Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has no single cause or cure, but there are treatments that can help improve early symptoms. Detecting autism early is critical for ensuring that children receive the necessary interventions and support services to enable them to reach their fullest potential.
In this article, we will discuss early autism solutions that you may want to consider. While there is no clear solution, it is beneficial to be aware of the treatments available to determine which might be most appropriate for your child.
What type of therapy do Children with Autism need?
It is important for your child to know ahead of time that they have autism in order to feel at ease with themselves.
If they know ahead of time, they can begin to understand why some things are difficult for them and learn how to cope with their autism. In a study, it was found that telling a child they have autism at a young age empowers them later in life by giving them access to support and promoting self-understanding.
By knowing what type of therapy your child needs, your child can begin the journey towards self-understanding and improvement.
Behavior therapy is one of the most commonly used early interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is a form of therapy that aims to help children learn new skills and overcome challenges by changing the way they behave.
Fewer than half of young children with ADHD receive behavior therapy, despite the common knowledge that behavior therapy is a safer alternative to medication. It’s true that therapy can be a time-consuming process, however, since it focuses on teaching parents how to modify and redirect their children’s behavior.
A report by the CDC suggests that a child can better control their behavior when their parents are able to provide them with behavior therapy, which is then validated by health care professionals on a regular basis.
In turn, this has had a positive impact on the children’s performance at school and on their relationships with family members. Therapists teach a wide range of skills to parents, including how to listen actively, how to give positive attention, and how to develop a structure and consistency of communication.
Generally speaking, behavior therapy is a term that refers to several different types of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapies that help children with autism in different ways – but the general goal is to improve their quality of life.
DTT, JASPER, EIBI Developmental therapies
There are several factors that can influence the type of behavioral therapy used, including the condition being treated and the severity of the symptoms. Some of the more common ones include DTT, JASPER, and EIBI developmental therapies.
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) developmental therapy is a research-based, intensive intervention that teaches specific skills to children with autism. Through this structured approach, the child is able to learn and master new skills in a predictable, measurable manner.
As a result of learning how to use DTT with their children, parents in a study on the effectiveness of a DTT program for parents of children with autism reported satisfaction with the program and recommended it to other parents.
This type of therapy is often associated with the Lovaas Program, which teaches one-on-one instruction before moving to social and pre-academic skills in group settings.
On the other hand, a treatment approach based on developmental and behavioral principles developed by Dr. Connie Kasari at UCLA is JASPER (Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation) therapy. Through naturalistic strategies, the foundations of social communication are targeted to increase social interaction and complexity.
The theory behind JASPER developmental therapy is that physical activity will help improve the child’s overall development. Studies show that JASPER can significantly improve your child’s physical abilities, communication skills, and social interactions.
Lastly, EIBI (early intensive behavioral intervention) developmental therapy is an early intervention program with the goal to improve the child’s communication, social skills, and behavior.
Favorable results can be achieved for children older than 3 ½ years at entry into EIBI treatment, with all outcomes indicating greater improvement in the EIBI group than in another tested treatment model.
In general, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) developmental therapies require a significant amount of time, possibly up to 40 hours per week. This treatment timeline is intensive at the beginning, but becomes less intense as time goes on until the child no longer needs it.
There are, however, some therapies and supports that combine elements of behavioral therapy and developmental therapy.
DSP, DIR Combined therapies
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, a combination of therapies may help to address the different areas that children with autism struggle with.
Developmental social-pragmatic (DSP) therapy is a treatment approach used with children who have difficulties with communication and social interaction, focusing on the way parents interact as a means of improving their children’s social communication.
This type of therapy combines speech and language therapy with behavioral interventions in order to help the child improve their communication skills and social interactions.
Such interventions can include improving communication skills, such as speaking clearly and using appropriate language for the situation, as well as improving social skills, such as interacting with others in a polite and respectful manner.
Conversely, DIR (Developmental Individual-difference Relationship-based model), or the DIR/Floortime model is a developmental intervention approach that helps children with autism and other developmental disabilities by focusing on the child’s interests and encouraging them to interact with their environment through play.
Additionally, this relationship-based therapy is important for parents to learn how to better communicate with their children as they play and interact with them at their level.
As a child develops emotionally and intellectually, certain milestones must be reached, but children with autism and other disabilities may have difficulty reaching these milestones, which is why this therapy model provides intense, individualized support for them.
It is often suggested that a combined therapy approach is the most effective since it incorporates several effective therapies and supports. It is also common for behavioral therapies to be combined with developmental approaches and supports.
ESDM (Early Start Denver Model) is one of the most common therapy-based supports for young children with autism between the ages of 1-5 and their families. With ESDM support, children receive early, intensive, and sustained intervention through a naturalistic setting, using play and everyday routines to build fun and positive relationships. Play activities help the child develop cognitive, social, and language skills.
Another well-known therapy-based support is SCERTS, or Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support, which combines several techniques to create individualized programs for children with autism.
A major component of SCERTS support is teaching children to identify and understand their feelings through play, functional, spontaneous communication, and positive approaches. A SCERTS approach is used to align approaches from a variety of different treatment approaches, such as DIR/Floortime.
What is ABA therapy?
Considered the gold standard for the treatment of children with autism, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a form of behavioral intervention that uses principles of learning theory to increase desired behaviors and reduce undesired behaviors.
The goal of ABA therapy is to help the child achieve their fullest potential by improving their behavior, developing their social skills, building learning skills, and maintaining personal hygiene through one-on-one structured settings, by breaking down a skill and teaching it step-by-step. In this process, parents learn and adopt strategies that will reinforce the work therapists do in sessions.
There are a number of different types of interventions used alongside ABA therapy today, such as Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI).
What is considered early intervention therapy?
Early intervention therapy is a form of treatment that is designed for children who are at risk for or have already been diagnosed with a developmental disability. This type of therapy can help to improve the child’s development and functioning. There are many different types of early intervention therapies, which may vary depending on the child‘s age, diagnosis, and individual needs.
Some common early intervention therapies include:
- Speech therapy – for developing communication skills verbally or with gestures.
- Occupational therapy – for difficulty with activities such as dressing, bathing, and feeding themselves.
- Physical therapy – for managing movement and coordination.
- Behavioral therapy – for controlling their emotions or behaviors.
An early intervention program has been proven to be effective in providing parental
support, fostering parent-child relationships, and reducing anxiety among the family members.
Keep in mind, however, that each child’s needs are different, so it is important to work with a therapist who can create a customized treatment plan for the child. Early intervention therapy can be expensive, but it is often worth the investment, as it can help to improve the child’s development and quality of life.
Can early autism go away?
There is no single answer to the question of whether or not early autism can go away. For some young children, their symptoms of autism may diminish over time through intense therapies, and as they learn new skills and become more comfortable in social situations.
However, for others, their autism may be a lifelong condition. There is no definite cure for autism, but there are treatments that can help children learn new skills and improve their quality of life. Early diagnosis and intervention are key in helping children with autism reach their fullest potential.
There is still much research to be done on the causes of autism and how best to treat it, but there is hope that we continue to make progress in understanding and helping those affected by this condition.
Does medication help autism?
It is currently impossible to cure autism or all its symptoms with medication. The effectiveness of certain medications depends on the individual, as some people with ASD may benefit from them, while others may not.
Certain medications, however, can relieve or treat certain symptoms associated with ASD, especially certain behaviors such as anxiety or hyperactivity, effectively aiding the patient to function better.
If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.