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Effective Speech & Language Therapy for Children with ASD

Effective Speech & Language Therapy for Children with ASD: What to Expect

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Speech and language therapy plays a crucial role in the holistic development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It not only enhances overall communication but also improves social skills, enabling better adaptation to society and functioning in day-to-day life. Concerning the importance of early intervention for optimal outcomes, it is highly advisable to initiate therapy targeting speech and overall communication as soon as the diagnosis is made or a deficit is observed.

Speech and language therapy also addresses challenges related to language & communication, offering valuable support to children in improving both verbal and nonverbal aspects of their social communication – in essence, the primary objective of this evidence-based approach is to enhance the child’s ability to communicate in more practical and efficient ways.

Nurturing Voices: A Guide to Effective Speech & Language Therapy for Children with ASD

Speech Therapy ASD

Many children with ASD face challenges in grasping the meaning and rhythm of words and sentences. Additionally, they may also struggle to comprehend body language and the nuances of various vocal tones. Collectively, these difficulties impact the capacity of children with ASD to engage with others, particularly within their own age group.

Tailored Approaches: No two children with ASD are the same, and that’s the beauty of their uniqueness. A good speech therapist, especially those at Early Autism Services, understands this implicitly. Expect a personalized approach that caters to your child’s specific needs and strengths and taps into their individual capabilities. Personalized therapy also ensures that your child’s journey is tailored just for them, which further instills a sense of comfort and security.

Communication Breakthroughs: Therapy focusing on the production of speech and overall increase in communication  is a journey, not a sprint. Celebrate the small victories, whether it’s a new word, a sign, or improved eye contact. Each breakthrough is a testament to your child’s progress, and it is these little triumphs that pave the way for bigger accomplishments! Remember, the path to communication breakthroughs is unique for every child, and progress may unfold in surprising ways. For example, some children might even excel in non-verbal communication, such as gestures or visual aids, showcasing their distinct strengths. Embrace these diverse forms of expression, and trust that every step is a building block toward more significant strides.

Patience and Perseverance: As parents and caregivers of children on the spectrum, you already know and understand that some days may be more challenging than the others. Progress might seem slow, and frustrations can run high. But remember, each child blooms at their own pace. Trust the process, and be patient. It’s in these moments of perseverance that you’ll witness the resilience of your child and the power of effective therapy.

Embracing Technology: In a rapidly developing digital age, technology has become an invaluable tool in therapy. Interactive apps and games can make learning enjoyable and engaging for your child. These tech-savvy resources can offer diverse activities, from language development exercises to social interaction simulations, ensuring a well-rounded and dynamic approach to your child’s growth. Additionally, aim to stay involved in your child’s screen time, using it as an opportunity for bonding and shared exploration. Also, make the most of these tools and create an environment where learning is not just educational but a fun experience, too!

Family involvement in children with autism

Family Involvement: Your participation and contribution is crucial. An adept therapist (trained in Verbal Behaviour and/or Speech Therapy) will not only work with your child but will also guide you on how to support their development at home. Incorporate those therapy techniques into your daily routine, and watch how ordinary moments turn into opportunities for growth. As you actively participate in your child’s therapy, remember that your love and encouragement are powerful catalysts, creating a nurturing environment where they feel supported, valued, and inspired to continue developing their communication skills.

In Closing –

At Early Autism Services (EAS), we have had the privilege of witnessing countless success stories where children, once presumed to be non-verbal, have found their voices through effective use of therapy focusing on increasing overall communication including speech. It’s stories like these that fuel our passion for what we do, and we’re confident that you, too, will experience the joy of your child’s developing communication skills.

So, get in touch with our autism care experts now or schedule a free consultation call at +91 8929153820. This way, we will be better equipped to address all your needs!

Sleep challenges for autistic children

Autism and Sleep Challenges in Children: 7 Tips for a Restful Night

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Sleep problems are a significant concern observed in children with autism  spectrum disorder (ASD) and impact various aspects of their lives. These challenges may affect social interactions, daily routines, and academic performance, while also contributing to increased stress for parents.

Research indicates that approximately two-thirds of children with ASD experience chronic insomnia.

Children with autism may experience difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night due to heightened sensitivity to external stimuli like touch or sound. Unlike most children who remain undisturbed when a door is opened, or the covers are adjusted, children with  ASD may be light sleepers.  Another study also discovered that children on the autism spectrum who struggle with sleep tend to be more hyperactive and easily distracted compared to those who sleep well.

In this regard, some of the most effective strategies to promote better sleep include sleep education, making changes in the sleeping environment, implementing behavioral interventions, and, in some cases, providing supplements prescribed by a professional, as well.

How Can I Help My Child with Autism Sleep Better?

How can I make my autistic child sleep better

Addressing sleep issues in children on the autism spectrum can be relatively simple; establishing a bedtime routine or modifying bedroom conditions, like adjusting temperature and lighting, can help a great deal. Consistently adhering to set bedtimes and wake times also helps regulate their body’s internal clock, making sleep more predictable and reliable. Besides, children with autism who get back on a regular sleeping schedule may be able to learn better, are less irritable, and demonstrate relatively fewer challenging behaviors.

On that note, let’s take a look at some simple and easily-implementable steps to ensure that your child gets a good night’s sleep –

  • Comfortable Sleep Environment: Create a comfortable sleep environment with a cozy mattress, soft bedding, and suitable room temperature. You can also minimize noise and light disturbances to promote better sleep. However, remember to adjust the sleep setting in a way that is sensory-friendly, considering your child’s sensory preferences and sensitivities. Here, soft textures and weighted blankets can help provide a sense of comfort and ease.
  • Consistent Bedtime Routine: As mentioned earlier, establishing a regular bedtime routine can play an essential role in improving your child’s sleep. The routine may include calming activities like reading or gentle music, which can help signal to your child that it’s time to relax, wind down, and sleep. Incorporating calming elements like a warm bath or soothing music into the pre-sleep routine can also help your child relax and prepare for sleep.
  • Limit Screen Time: Reduce screen time before bedtime, as the blue light from screens can interfere with sleep. Moreover, your child can greatly benefit from establishing a no-screen rule at least an hour before bedtime. This practice can create a calming pre-sleep routine, allowing their mind to unwind and enhancing the quality of their sleep, as well. It’s also an opportunity for bonding through bedtime stories, quiet activities, or relaxing conversations, making bedtime a cherished part of your daily routine.
  • Physical Activity: Encourage physical activity during the day, as it can help your child expend energy, making it easier for them to fall asleep at night. However, avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime as it may lead to disturbed sleep patterns. Consider engaging in fun, low-impact activities like a calming pre-sleep yoga session or a leisurely evening walk together, setting the stage for a peaceful night’s rest.
  • Diet Considerations: Be mindful of your child’s diet, especially in the evenings. Limit caffeine and sugary foods close to bedtime, and ensure they have a light, balanced dinner, while avoiding heavy or spicy foods that may cause discomfort. Creating a soothing evening mealtime routine can make this a pleasant family experience, allowing your child to associate dinner with relaxation and preparing for a restful night’s sleep. Remember, a well-nourished body is better prepared for a peaceful night of good, uninterrupted sleep!
  •   Limit Daytime Naps: While some children benefit from short naps, excessive daytime napping can interfere with nighttime sleep. Ensure that naps during the day are not too long or too close to bedtime. Instead, encourage daytime activities that engage your child and expend their energy, thus reducing the need for long naps.
  • Communication: Establish a simple communication system with your child to understand their needs during the night. Use visuals or simple gestures to enable them to communicate their needs or discomfort, if any. This thoughtful approach can not only provide comfort but also foster a sense of independence and security in your child, making bedtime a more positive experience for parents and children alike.

These steps, tailored to your child’s specific needs, can help promote better sleep and improve their overall well-being. However, if sleep issues still persist, make sure that you consult your healthcare professional, since they can provide personalized guidance and solutions as per your little one’s unique requirements.

In our commitment to providing the best care for children with autism, we at Early Autism Services (EAS) understand the unique challenges and opportunities that each child presents. Our personalized and solution-oriented approach focuses on nurturing their strengths and fostering a safe and enriching environment. We believe that every child has immense potential, and our dedicated team of experts is here to guide them every step of the way.

To connect with one of our experienced clinicians, reach out to us via phone (+91 8929153820) or by filling out the form here. We look forward to assisting you, answering your inquiries, and scheduling a free consultation at your convenience!

Advantages of Sensory Play Early Autism Services

Advantages of Sensory Play: Fun Activities for Children with ASD

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Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often perceive and interact with the world around them differently. Sensory play, a hands-on activity that stimulates the senses, can be an invaluable tool for parents and caregivers. Through sensory play, children can also express themselves freely. This can be especially beneficial for non-verbal children, allowing them to convey emotions and preferences effectively.

Play-centered activities also play an important role in shifting their focus from unwanted behaviors to more constructive, non-injurious forms of expression, employing toys or preferred activities as their chosen means of communication. Besides, not only is play therapy enjoyable, but it also offers a wide range of benefits for your little one!

So, let’s take a look at the key advantages of sensory play for children on the autism spectrum –

Enhanced Communication

Sensory play can encourage non-vocal erbal communication. Whether it’s using gestures, facial expressions, or sounds to express their feelings during play, it plays a pivotal role in fostering communication development and interpersonal skills. Aligning with this, group sensory play can promote social interaction. Encouraging playdates or group sessions can help children with ASD learn to share, take turns, and engage with others.

Sensory Regulation

Children with ASD can struggle with sensory regulation, either seeking sensory stimulation or avoiding it. Sensory play, in this regard, provides a safe environment for them to explore and self-regulate their sensory needs.

Improved Fine Motor Skills

Improved Fine Motor Skills Early Autism Services

Many sensory activities involve manipulating objects, which helps improve fine motor skills. This, in turn, can help children develop daily skills such as writing, buttoning clothes, and eating independently. Likewise, sensory play also stimulates cognitive growth; sorting, categorizing, and problem-solving during activities like sand or water play can further enhance cognitive abilities.

Stress Reduction

Sensory play is known for its calming effect. Activities like using stress balls or sensory bins filled with soothing materials can help reduce anxiety and meltdowns. This approach also helps in sensory integration, enabling children to process and respond to sensory information more effectively.

As seen above, engaging in sensory play activities can be both enjoyable and therapeutic for children on the autism spectrum. So, read on for some fun sensory play ideas for your little one:

 Sensory Bins

Create themed sensory bins with items like rice, beans, sand, or water beads. You can also add small toys or objects for kids to explore and manipulate. These tactile experiences can help improve fine motor skills and provide a calming sensory input.

Texture Boards

Make texture boards featuring various materials like fur, fabric, sandpaper, and more. Children can touch and feel these textures for a tactile experience. You can also encourage them to describe the textures, which will further aid in building sensory awareness and language development.

Sensory Bottles

Fill clear plastic bottles with glitter, colored water, or small objects. Seal them tightly, and children can shake and observe the sensory effects. In addition to offering visual stimulation, sensory bottles can also serve as a portable calming tool during moments of stress or anxiety.

Playdough Play

Playdough for children Early Autism

Homemade or store-bought playdough offers endless opportunities for molding, squishing, and shaping. Through playdough, children can engage in imaginative play, build hand strength, and explore color and texture.

Messy Play

Engage in controlled messy play with activities like finger painting, shaving cream art, or mud play. These activities encourage self-expression and sensory exploration and can also be a source of joy while keeping the mess manageable. However, remember to use washable, non-toxic materials!

Sensory Walks

Set up sensory paths or walkways with different textures like foam, sandpaper, or grass for kids to explore with their feet. These paths promote physical activity and sensory integration, improving balance and coordination.

Aromatherapy Play

Introduce scents through scented playdough and essential oils to engage the sense of smell. Aromatherapy can also help children relax, focus, or uplift their mood, depending on the scents used. For example, while lavender can provide a soothing and relaxing environment, chocolate and vanilla aromas can be great for insomnia and irritability.

Sensory Stories

Create sensory stories by combining tactile elements with storytelling to enhance the narrative experience. This approach encourages language development, imagination, and sensory awareness, as well.

Balloon Play

Balloon Play for Children with Autism

Inflated balloons offer a variety of sensory experiences, including touch, sound and visual stimulation. Balloon play can be both exciting and a valuable tool for tactile and visual sensory exploration for children on the autism spectrum.

While these play ideas can be super beneficial, you can also customize sensory activities based on your child’s sensory preferences. 

For example, if they seek proprioceptive input, consider activities like swinging or jumping on a trampoline. For those who are tactile defensive, opt for less tactilely stimulating activities, such as creating patterns on the ground using wet brushes or squeeze bottles filled with water.

Remember that each child with ASD is unique, so always observe their reactions and adjust activities accordingly. Sensory play isn’t just about fun; it’s a valuable tool for promoting growth, communication, and well-being in children with ASD. By incorporating these activities into your little one’s daily routine, you can make a significant difference in their development and quality of life!

With our comprehensive and personalized autism care services, your child can make the most of the individualized attention and evidence-based therapies we provide. So, choose Early Autism Services (EAS) to be your child’s special needs care provider, and let’s build a brighter future for your child together.

Contact us at +91 8929153820 to speak with a clinician today!

Autism for women children

Understanding the Unique Needs of Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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As a parent or caregiver of a child with autism, you play a valuable role in supporting and nurturing their development. And when it comes to caring for girls with ASD, it’s of utmost importance to recognize and address their unique needs. Autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder, affects children regardless of gender; however, it is essential to understand that girls on the spectrum often face distinctive challenges compared to boys and require special attention.

Research indicates that girls with ASD may be underdiagnosed since their behaviors differ from those of boys on the spectrum. For example, boys are more likely to have limited and repetitive areas of play, whereas girls are relatively less repetitive, with broader play areas. Since their behavior varies in terms of social interactions and communication styles, it is imperative to personalize support strategies that cater to their needs.

Although no two children with ASD are exactly alike, understanding the patterns and tendencies commonly seen in girls can provide crucial insights for parents and caregivers alike. Moreover, by effectively identifying these aspects and incorporating practical tips to enhance their overall quality of life, you can do your best to create a suitable environment that fosters growth, understanding, and empowerment!

So, let’s dive in and take a closer look at the unique challenges & needs of girls on the autism spectrum –

Establishing Boundaries and Promoting Safety

Teaching girls with autism about personal boundaries and safety is vital. Due to difficulties associated with communication, they may require explicit and elaborate guidance to navigate appropriate interactions with others. Accordingly, setting clear rules and providing visual support can help establish healthy boundaries and, in turn, ensure their safety.

Children with ASD, especially girls, may have difficulty recognizing potentially dangerous situations and understanding social cues related to personal safety. Hence, empowering them to establish healthy boundaries can help them navigate social situations more effectively, thereby promoting positive social interactions and reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings or conflicts.

Understanding how to set healthy boundaries also allows girls on the autism spectrum to develop a sense of autonomy and independence. As they continue to gain a deeper understanding of establishing appropriate limits and expectations, they can make more informed decisions in the long run and subsequently reduce anxiety, discomfort, and uncertainty across diverse settings.

Preparing for Menstruation: Period Care, Support, and Guidance

Menstruation is a significant milestone in a girl’s life, and children with autism may require additional support

Menstruation is a significant milestone in a girl’s life, and children with autism may require additional support during this transition. Puberty can also be an especially challenging time for them as they struggle to understand and cope with their emotions and hormonal changes. Besides, when girls on the spectrum begin menstruating, they may also experience sensory issues; however, this often goes unnoticed because talking about periods is still considered taboo in several societies. In fact, girls with ASD have almost three times the risk of coercive sexual victimization than the average person, as per a 2018 study that explored the link between neurodiversity and coercion.

Managing periods can also be tough due to sensory sensitivities caused by period products, physical discomfort, nausea, and hormones that worsen existing sensory difficulties. As a result, it is crucial to acknowledge these challenges and provide the required support during this time of the month. Educating girls about menstruation, using visual aids, and providing a predictable routine can also help alleviate anxiety and ensure they have the necessary knowledge and resources for proper self-care.

Embracing Individuality and Special Interests

Girls on the autism spectrum often have passionate interests that are seen as more socially acceptable compared to the typical ‘special interests’ associated with boys. For example, they may be deeply interested in animals or reading, challenging the stereotype that individuals with ASD are mainly drawn to things like trains. Although girls on the spectrum may spend a lot of time drawing or reading, these interests may not be seen as ‘special’ or ‘atypical’ because they align with common hobbies, thus leading to late or even underdiagnosis.

Furthermore, it’s essential to understand that girls with autism may also put a lot of effort into trying to fit in with their non-autistic peers. They are more likely to study social behaviors, people, and norms to blend in, which can become a special interest in itself. As a result, it is important for parents and caregivers to embrace their individuality and incorporate their unique interests into therapy and learning activities. Adopting this approach can play a remarkable role in enhancing engagement, fostering self-expression, and building their confidence.

Cultivating Independence and Life Skills

Cultivating independence and life skills empowers girls with autism to lead fulfilling lives

Cultivating independence and life skills empowers girls with autism to lead fulfilling lives. Providing them with a platform to practice communication and social interaction in meaningful contexts not only helps develop essential daily living skills but also promotes autonomy and self-confidence. Aligning with this, aspects such as problem-solving, following instructions, requesting help, and engaging in conversations, contribute to their ability to effectively communicate and interact with others in various environments, including school, work, and the community.

Additionally, some of the key life skills that help advocate independence in girls on the autism spectrum include personal hygiene, dressing skills, meal preparation and nutrition, time management and organization, as well as money management. It is important to approach life skills training for girls with ASD in a structured, individualized manner, taking into account their unique strengths, challenges, and interests. And if you require more help with that, our team of experts at Early Autism Services (EAS) is here to assist you!

Collaborative Support – Caregivers, Educators, and Autism Care Experts

During the ages of 7 to 8, girls tend to be more socially advanced than boys of the same age. They may also have progressive communication skills, be more cooperative with instructions, and can negotiate and work together with peers effectively. However, this factor can likely lead to ASD-related traits (especially in terms of communication and social interactions) being overlooked and underdiagnosed in girls.

It further highlights the need for effective collaboration between children, caregivers, educators, and autism care experts in providing the right diagnosis and comprehensive support. Here, maintaining open lines of communication and working together to create individualized plans can greatly ensure that girls with autism receive the best possible care and opportunities.

Concluding Reflections 

As you embark on this journey with your daughter, it’s important to adopt a personalized approach that truly suits her unique strengths and challenges.

In essence, here’s how you can help address the unique and special needs of girls on the autism spectrum:

  •         Establishing Boundaries and Promoting Safety
  •         Preparing for Menstruation: Period Care, Support, and Guidance
  •         Embracing Individuality and Special Interests
  •         Cultivating Independence and Life Skills
  •         Collaborative Support – Caregivers, Educators, and Autism Care Experts

And if you’re questioning how to go about these in the right way, your search ends here!

By choosing the right resources, such as the expert assistance we provide at Early Autism Services (EAS), and cultivating a strong support system, you’ll certainly be equipped with the necessary tools and strategies needed to offer the best possible care for your daughter.

Through an inclusive and nurturing environment, we believe that we can make a profound difference in their lives.

So, connect with us now by scheduling a free consultation here. We’re eager to listen, understand, and collaborate with you in crafting a personalized approach that will empower your daughter to thrive! 

Empowering Children with ASD Self-Advocacy and Independence

Empowering Children with ASD: Self-Advocacy and Independence

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At its core, self-advocacy is the ability to speak up for yourself and communicate what you need to others. And as an important skill that begins developing in childhood and continues to advance through adulthood, it is essential to support and encourage children on the autism spectrum to be independent and advocate for themselves for a better and more secure future.

In India, where around 1.5% of children between the ages of two and nine are diagnosed with ASD, understanding and promoting their autonomy becomes critical. Besides, the statistic also highlights the pressing need for effective strategies that promote their independence and self-advocacy skills.

Our blog will delve into the practical approaches, evidence-based techniques, and transformative interventions that can help facilitate your child’s self-advocacy and foster their independence. So, let’s begin by exploring the multi-faceted aspects of empowering children on the autism spectrum:

Developing effective communication strategies to encourage self-expression

Helping your child express themselves better and become more independent involves the implementation of effective communication strategies. Here, personalizing the right communication strategies based on your child’s unique needs is key!

(Read More: Top 10 Strategies to Encourage Communication in Children with Autism)

You can also consider using augmentative and alternative communication systems, such as speech-generating devices, to empower non-vocal children to communicate effectively and independently. Encouraging social skills training and peer interactions will also help them grow socially and form meaningful connections. By implementing these strategies, you can create a welcoming environment that celebrates your child’s abilities and allows their self-expression to flourish.

Nurturing executive functioning skills and promoting self-regulation

Executive functioning skills, such as planning, organizing, and problem-solving, are essential for managing daily tasks and routines. Consistent routines and schedules also help create predictability, thus reducing anxiety in children on the autism spectrum and promoting self-advocacy. Here’s how you can help a child diagnosed with ASD take ownership of their responsibilities and foster independence –

  • Provide visual schedules and checklists
  • Break down tasks into smaller, simpler, and more understandable steps
  • Offer verbal prompts if needed
  • Ensure multiple opportunities for practicing these skills
  • Set attainable long-term (completing dressing or bathroom routine independently) and short-term (removing shoes independently) Goals
  • Reward positive behaviors that reflect autonomy

Likewise, supporting self-regulation in children with ASD helps them to recognize and manage their emotions, sensory needs, and impulses independently. For example, teaching relaxation techniques and creating calm spaces allow children to regulate their emotional states effectively, which provides them with a greater sense of freedom and fulfillment.

Fostering independence in everyday activities

Building daily living skills and fostering independence in performing everyday activities is crucial for children on the autism spectrum, especially given the benefits they yield in the long run. The practice not only enhances their ability to perform certain tasks but also contributes to their overall independence. Encouraging self-care skills, such as dressing, grooming, meal preparation, basic household chores, and money management, also facilitates the development of personal autonomy, while instilling feelings of self-sufficiency and self-confidence. When children are encouraged to master these essential proficiencies, they can independently navigate daily activities with confidence, laying the foundation for a more fulfilling and self-reliant future as they transition toward adulthood.

Enhancing social skills and cultivating meaningful relationships

Ehnaching Social Skills of children with Autism

By employing evidence-based strategies, parents and caregivers can help children with autism navigate social interactions with confidence and foster genuine connections with others. One effective approach, in this regard, is through social skills training, which targets specific areas of difficulty, such as initiating conversations, interpreting nonverbal cues, and maintaining appropriate personal space. When provided with structured opportunities for practice and reinforcement, children can also develop important social competencies at their own pace, hence paving the way for a more self-reliant future.

Transition planning and preparing for adulthood

As a parent of a child with ASD, one of the main objectives of preparing for adulthood is to ensure that they are as independent as possible. Socially and emotionally strengthening your child to face real-world challenges without significant assistance, especially by implementing the approaches mentioned above, can grant them a more secure adult life in the future. Providing the right support, such as vocational training, social skills development, and community integration programs, can also help pave a smoother road to employment opportunities, higher education, and, ultimately, a more independent life.

Although your child may demonstrate different needs compared to peers, it is crucial to recognize their many strengths, skills, talents, and interests. Finding a way to foster these assets will certainly be valuable in making your child’s transition to adulthood a smoother experience! Remember, by encouraging autonomy, children with autism gain a greater sense of control over their lives, promoting a positive self-image and reducing feelings of helplessness or dependence on others.

By equipping parents, caregivers, educators, and professionals with the necessary knowledge and tools, we at Early Autism Services (EAS) aspire to create a supportive environment that enables children with ASD to flourish.

Our team of experts, well-versed in the field of autism care and child development, will provide you with invaluable insights, practical tips, and evidence-based guidance that can be implemented in various settings, such as homes, schools, and communities. So, if you’re ready to embark on this journey of empowerment together, schedule a consultation with us right away – +91 89291 53820

Innovative strategies and tools to help a child with ASD

Innovative Tools & Strategies for Supporting Children with ASD

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If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, you are probably worrying and wondering about what’s the next best step. You may be uncertain about how to best help your little one or confused by the numerous treatment options and advice available online.

While it is true that ASD is not a condition that a child eventually ‘grows out of,’ there are various innovative tools that can assist them in acquiring new skills and overcoming a wide variety of developmental challenges.

And on that note, let’s explore the top 10 innovative tools and strategies for supporting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) –

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Picture exchange communication system incorporates the use of pictures to help children with ASD communicate effectively. Through this approach, children learn to select and exchange cards with symbols, words, pictures, or photographs in order to convey their needs. Moreover, studies have also demonstrated that PECS can play a vital role in decreasing tantrums as well as odd behaviors.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices

AAC devices are characterized as electronic equipment that assist children with ASD in communicating and interacting with others. These devices can be customized to suit individual needs and may include pictures, symbols, and text. While no-tech and low-tech AAC options include writing, drawing, gestures and facial expressions, and pointing to photos and pictures, high-tech AAC devices entail the use of a computer with a ‘voice’ (speech-generating device) as well as apps, iPads, or tables to communicate.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy can be an effective treatment option for children on the autism spectrum, who have other mental health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A 2010 study also found that CBT, when incorporated with active parent involvement, showed promise as an effective therapy for children aged 3 to 7 with anxiety.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

ABA is a form of highly structured therapy that focuses on increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing undesirable behaviors. ABA is well-known as an evidence-based intervention for children with ASD. It is majorly used to help children with autism as well as other developmental disorders, learn behaviors that help them lead more fulfilling and safer lives.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technologies include devices and software that help children with ASD access and participate in learning activities. These comprise tools like text-to-speech software or adapted keyboards. Some examples of assistive technology include battery-operated sensory toys, social skills videos, and visual timers, among others.

Peer-Mediated Interventions

Peer-mediated interventions involve pairing children on the spectrum with typically developing peers. This can help them develop social skills and encourage participation in community-based activities, as well. Peer-mediated interventions also involve teaching peers to interact with and support children diagnosed with ASD, which can play a vital role in promoting social skills and inclusion.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a form of therapy that enables children to express themselves through play. By using play as the medium, children are able to better explore their feelings and share them with their parents and therapists. Play therapy results in significant improvement in areas such as social skills, language development, regulating emotions, reduction of stereotypical behaviors, or enhanced gross and fine motor skills.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can help children with ASD improve their fine motor skills, sensory processing, and activities of everyday living. Aligning with this, an occupational therapist’s main role is to inculcate daily life skills, such as self-care, independent dressing, grooming, and eating.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy can help children with ASD improve their communication skills, including speech, language, and social communication. With the ultimate goal of helping the child interact in more functional and effective ways, speech therapy can help children on the autism spectrum improve their nonverbal, verbal, and social communication skills.

Parent Training and Education

Providing parents with education and training on how to support their child with ASD can significantly help improve their child’s outcomes and overall family functioning. This approach constitutes a wide range of interventions, including psychoeducation, care coordination, programs designed to address maladaptive behaviors, and treatments for social or language development.

In essence, the above-mentioned approaches play a crucial role in improving the developmental outcomes of children with ASD. By tailoring individualized and effective support, innovative tools, as well as strategies, facilitate the acquisition of important life skills and abilities. Ultimately, this enables children diagnosed with autism to achieve greater autonomy and more enriching life experiences.

 

multitude of innovative tools and strategies available to help children with ASD succeed

As discussed, there are a multitude of innovative tools and strategies available to help children with ASD succeed and thrive. These include –

  •         Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  •         Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices
  •         Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  •         Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  •         Assistive Technology
  •         Peer-Mediated Interventions
  •         Play Therapy
  •         Occupational Therapy
  •         Speech Therapy
  •         Parent Training and Education

However, it is important for parents and caregivers to stay up-to-date on these advancements and seek out resources to support their child’s needs.

Since every child on the autism spectrum is unique, they may require different types and levels of care. And Early Autism Services (EAS) is committed to providing the best resources for children with autism as well as their families, personalized to their individual needs.

Our team of experts is trained in the latest techniques and strategies, and we are dedicated to helping each child reach their full potential. So, if you are looking for the best autism care for your little one, make sure you get in touch with us right away.

We are here to help and support you every step of the way!

Helpful Tips for Teaching Self-Care Skills to Children with Autism

Helpful Tips for Teaching Self-Care Skills to Children with Autism

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. Children with autism often face challenges associated with carrying out daily activities and also struggle with self-care skills such as bathing, dressing, and handling money.

An important facet of autism care, especially in children, is receiving proper guidance about self-care, hygiene, and safety. Moreover, it is also possible to build up your child’s self-esteem by helping them focus on self-care skills such as grooming and self-hygiene!

Teaching self-care skills is essential for the well-being of children diagnosed with autism; however, it can be difficult since the needs of every child are unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not work for every kid. Hence, as a caregiver, parent, or teacher of a child with ASD, it is important to know how to nurture these skills effectively and in a way that is tailored to their individual requirements.

And this blog, we will provide helpful tips and strategies for teaching self-care skills to children with autism, with the core objectives of promoting their independence and helping them feel less afraid and anxious in social settings.

So, let’s take a look at some of these tips 

Begin with the basics

When teaching self-care skills to children with ASD, it is important to start with basic skills such as washing hands, brushing teeth, and getting dressed. In addition to adding value to their daily lives, these skills can also help build a stronger foundation for learning more complex skills as they grow older.

Break down tasks into smaller steps

Aba therapy by breaking it down

Children with autism may find it difficult to understand multi-step instructions. Here, breaking down a task into smaller steps makes it easier for them to understand and follow. For example, instead of telling your child to brush their teeth, compartmentalize it into smaller, individual steps such as picking up the toothbrush, applying toothpaste, brushing their teeth, rinsing, and putting the toothbrush back in place.

Implement visual aids

Autism children with flash cards for teaching ABA therapy

Visual aids such as picture cards, schedules, and videos can be helpful in teaching self-care skills to children. Moreover, visual aids provide a pictorial representation of what is expected of them and help them understand the task better. For instance, you can use visual aids to show the steps involved in a particular skill set and, subsequently, provide a pictorial schedule to help them understand what they need to do next.

Use social stories

Social stories are characterized as short, descriptive stories that help children with ASD understand a particular situation or task. You can also use social stories to explain why self-care skills are essential and how to perform them. For example, a social story about keeping your hands clean could explain why it’s important to wash your hands, how to do it correctly, and the benefits of doing it regularly.

Practice positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that helps teach self-care skills effectively. Additionally, praising your child for completing a task or rewarding them with their favorite toy for making progress can help motivate them to work on their self-care skills, and even encourage them to continue practicing the desired behavior.

Practice regularly

Tips to help children with ASD

Practicing self-care skills regularly is crucial to help children with autism become more independent. Also, it is important to note that regular practice helps build muscle memory and makes the skill more comfortable to perform. So, encourage them to practice those skills daily, even if they don’t need to use them at the moment, since it can make a significant difference in terms of their progress.

Remember, patience is key

Teaching self-care skills to children with ASD can take time and patience. Besides, it is also essential to give them time to understand and practice the skills on a regular basis. Here, it helps a great deal when you are patient with their progress and do not get discouraged if and when they struggle to learn. Make sure you celebrate their successes and milestones, no matter how small, and keep working with them to develop their self-care skills!

Teaching self-care skills to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder requires a patient, individualized approach. As demonstrated, the above-mentioned tips can be highly effective in helping children learn self-care skills and become more independent. In fact, the more you work with your little one on these activities, the easier it will be for them to learn new skill sets as they grow up.

Training your child to be self-sufficient is a gradual process. Encouraging them in this regard will not only help reduce their stress levels but also promote their self-confidence and individuality. These skills can also play an essential role in facilitating family relationships while giving your child a sense of belonging.

And in summary, let’s revisit these 7 helpful tips for teaching self-care skills to children with ASD:

  •         Begin with the basics
  •         Break down tasks into smaller steps
  •         Implement visual aids
  •         Use social stories
  •         Practice positive reinforcement
  •         Practice regularly
  •         Remember, patience is key

No two children with autism are alike; this is exactly why Early Autism Services (EAS) strives to present your child with the right assistance, tailored to their specific needs. Additionally, our experienced team is here to help with any questions you may have.

So, make sure you get in touch with us right away and choose the best autism care services for your little one!

Evidence-Based Practices & Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Evidence-Based Practices & Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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Over the years, extensive research has indicated that individuals, as well as children diagnosed with ASD, benefit from early and appropriate interventions throughout the course of their lives. In this regard, children on the autism spectrum reap significant advantages through treatments that incorporate evidence-based approaches predominantly for targeting developmental skills. As parents and caregivers consider treatment methods for autism spectrum disorder, it is essential to recognize approaches that have proven or demonstrated efficacy.

So, what exactly are evidence-based practices and treatments for autism?

What is evidence bases practices in treating autism

Evidence-based practices (EBPs) are well-researched interventions that are shown to be safe as well as effective via scientific investigation. According to the National Professional Development Center on ASD, efficacy must be established through peer-reviewed research in scientific journals by virtue of accepted high-standard methodologies. Evidence-based practices or treatments for ASD are established on objective scientific evidence, including the demonstration of measurable results and thorough investigative studies. Here, research plays an integral role in terms of determining whether a treatment is actually effective and, in turn, enabling applied behavioral analysts to design and implement suitable strategies for treatment based on scientific research.

In contrast, non-evidence-based therapies or treatments have not been subjected to former scientific research and inquiry, and have no proof or solid foundation for their effectiveness.

For many parents of children on the autism spectrum, evidence-based therapies’ scientific validation can also grant an added sense of assurance and peace of mind regarding the high likelihood of favorable or positive outcomes.

Evidence-Based Practices for Children with Autism

27 evidence-based practices were identified by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute in association with the National Professional Development Center on ASD.

Given below is an incredibly useful list for those willing to know more about scientifically-researched interventions with the highest rates of effectiveness. And for your reference, we have highlighted some of the most commonly used evidence-based autism therapies in order to help you make the right choice –

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention (CBI)

This evidenced-based practice is grounded on the belief that behavior is facilitated by cognitive processes. These interventions are mainly used with children displaying problematic behavior related to specific emotions or feelings, such as anger or anxiety. CBI helps address social, communication, behavior, and cognitive health outcomes, predominantly for elementary school-age learners (6-11 years) to high school-age learners (15-18 years) with autism.

Technology-Aided Instruction and Intervention

Technology, as the central feature of this intervention approach, is used intentionally to increase/maintain and improve daily living, work, productivity, recreation, and leisure capabilities of children with autism spectrum disorder. According to evidence-based studies, this intervention has been effective for pre-schoolers (3-5 years) to young adults (19-22 years) diagnosed with autism.

Antecedent-Based Interventions (ABI)

Antecedent-based interventions (ABI) entail various modifications made to the environment in an attempt to shape or change a child’s behavior. Some of the most common ABI procedures include enriching the environment in order to offer additional cues or access to more materials and incorporating the child’s choice in educational activities or materials. As per evidence-based studies, this intervention method has been effective for toddlers (0-2 years) to young adults (19-22 years) on the autism spectrum.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

This evidence-based practice is generally used to identify the causes of interfering behaviors: aggression towards others, self-injury, or destructive behaviors. It is typically followed by the creation as well as the implementation of a behavior package in order to address the interfering conduct described.

Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention

Peer-mediated instruction and intervention (PMII) is used to teach typically developing peers methods to interact with as well as help learners on the autism spectrum acquire new behavior and communication skills by increasing social opportunities within natural environments. With PMII, peers are methodically taught ways of engaging children with autism in social interactions in both learner-initiated as well as teacher-directed activities.

Response Interruption/Redirection

Response interruption/redirection includes the introduction of a comment, prompt, or other distractors when an interfering behavior occurs. These prompts are designed to divert the attention of the child away from the intrusive behavior and subsequently, lead to its reduction.

Pivotal Response Training

Pivotal response training (PRT) is a naturalistic intervention based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). Building on learner initiative as well as interests, PRT is particularly effective for the development of communication, play, language, and social behaviors for toddlers (0-2 years) to middle school-age learners (12-14 years) on the autism spectrum.

To summarise, some of the most commonly used evidence-based autism therapies 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention (CBI)
  • Technology-Aided Instruction and Intervention
  • Antecedent-Based Interventions (ABI)
  • Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)
  • Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention
  • Response Interruption/Redirection
  • Pivotal Response Training

The Integral Role of ABA in Autism Treatment 

As other potential and developing practices continue to be analyzed in empirical studies, some of them will undoubtedly be identified as evidence-based. In this regard, several EBPs draw directly from the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which at its core, is used to enhance an individual’s quality of life.

According to Autism Speaks, more than 20 studies have demonstrated that long-term and intensive therapy using ABA principles plays a significant role in improving outcomes for several children with autism. The research finds key improvements in areas such as language development, social and intellectual functioning, as well as other skill sets integral to daily life.

High quality ABA programs, such as those offered by Early Autism Services (EAS), prioritize the values and individual goals of the child. Moreover, it also focuses on meaningful skill development and close collaborations with the little ones as well as their families. At Early Autism Services (EAS), our board-certified behavior analysts are proficient in implementing evidence-based treatments for autism, evaluating treatment strategies, and effectively conducting behavioral assessments. So, if you’re ready to provide your little one with the best autism care in Bengaluru, contact us right away by requesting a free consultation

Learning styles of children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder

Learning Styles of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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Learning styles is characterized as a concept that describes the method through which individuals acquire information about their surroundings and environment. The main types of learning styles include auditory learning – listening to a live or pre-recorded lecture; visual learning – reading a textbook or picture book; and kinesthetic or hands-on’ learning pressing buttons on a remote to understand how the device operates.  

While every person has a unique style of learning, this factor plays an important role in influencing how they perform in an educational setting. However, since children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have non-conforming educational and intellectual profiles, it is challenging for teachers, as well as parents or caregivers, to curate a curriculum that aligns with their abilities and to develop successful academic opportunities. As a result, the increasing incidence of autism diagnosis calls for building an improved understanding of students’ unique profiles and planning syllabi that are mindfully created by thoughtful consideration of learning styles and preferences.

Which Learning Style Does My Child Prefer?

As children on the autism spectrum primarily rely on one style of learning, it is important that you closely observe your little one’s predominant learning preference. For example, if your child mostly prefers to play with building blocks, push buttons and shapes to produce sounds or lights, open and close closets or drawers, and is constantly taking toys apart and placing them back together, these factors may indicate that he or she is a ‘hands-on’ or kinesthetic learner. On the other hand, if your child mainly learns by looking at picture books, watching TV (without or with sound), and carefully observing their surroundings, your little one is most likely a visual learner. Likewise, your child is mostly an auditory learner if he or she prefers listening to music and engaging in auditory stimulus more than consuming visually-interactive content and absorbing information by actively talking and interacting with those around them.

Let’s learn more about identifying the common learning styles of children with autism –

Visual

Visuals are appealing to children as it presents a complete picture in just a glance. Moreover, visual aids such as diagrams, flashcards, picture books, etc., can also be utilized as the beginning point for introducing the child to more challenging concepts in subjects like mathematics and science. This method of learning can help students better grasp abstract concepts, including complex feelings and emotions, as well.

Kinesthetic

Kinesthetic children learn best by touching and acquiring a tactile, hands-on experience. These learners tend to enjoy activities such as crafts, painting, playing with building blocks, and even taking toys apart so they can ultimately figure out how to put them back together again. Since hands-on learners learn best by practically engaging in an activity, they may often be observed going around the house or classroom to discover and explore things and objects with their hands.

Auditory

For students who mainly rely on their auditory abilities to grasp information, parents and teachers may observe that while these children may not always make a lot of eye contact, they are actively paying attention to what’s being said and will answer when asked a question or spoken to. Auditory learners are more inclined towards hearing information elucidated verbally and, in fact, learn better via listening and participating in conversations. Furthermore, they may also display an ardent interest in reading aloud, learning new languages, and listening to music.

Keeping these styles of learning in mind, it is also essential to note that students with ASD feel increasingly more comfortable in their general learning environment when their unique physiological, sociological, psychological, and environmental needs are adequately met. Accordingly, parents and teachers alike must develop an aptitude for carefully analyzing different ability profiles to create learning spaces that are more enriching, encouraging, and welcoming for children on the autism spectrum. These steps would not only help generate more successful academic experiences but also boost the child’s enthusiasm toward learning and intellectual development.  

Effectively Supporting Your Child’s Learning Style

Support your child's learning style if they have autism spectrum disorder

When parents, as well as teachers, recognize that every student possesses a unique set of needs and preferred learning styles, they are more equipped to develop a learning environment that is conducive to success. Researchers focused on exploring different learning styles have also found that high-risk students benefit most from instruction tailored and personalized according to their preferred learning style.

Therefore, it is important that teachers and parents identify the child’s preferred mode of learning as soon as they enter the school system or a home-based learning environment and establish efforts to adapt their methods based on the student’s strengths and abilities. This will certainly ensure that the child has the greatest chance for academic success!

You can also explore real-world experiences that augment your child’s learning and understanding. For example, if your child is highly interested in and passionate about wildlife, or animals in general, a great idea is to visit a petting zoo or an animal shelter. Through this, the child will gain a more holistic view and will also be able to develop a wider understanding of the world. In addition to helping your child retain more information, such experiences present your little one with meaningful insights in a way that sufficiently meets their individual learning style.

Remember that parents and teachers have a significant influence on children. And in this regard, early childhood therapies and programs, such as those offered by Early Autism Services (EAS), are uniquely optimized in a manner that supports and caters to your child’s strengths and requirements. For more information on this, feel free to get in touch with us by requesting a free consultation or speaking with our expert clinician (+91 8929153820) today!­­­­

Earliest Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder bangalore

Earliest Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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Several children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show developmental differences, especially in their communication and social abilities when they are toddlers. However, since they tend to crawl and walk on time, similar to peers of their age, less evident inconsistencies in behaviors, gestures, expressions, as well as language delays, often remain unnoticed. In addition to speech and interactive differences, parents may also notice abnormalities in the way their child interacts with other kids and family members.

While the signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder differ, their effects also vary from one child to another. For instance, some children diagnosed with autism may only suffer from mild or minor impairments, whereas the others are likely to face significantly more challenges, especially in terms of developmental milestones. However, every child on the autism spectrum may experience problems to a certain degree, primarily in areas such as verbal and non-verbal communication, relating and interacting with their surroundings, as well as behavioral and emotional complications.

How to distinguish a child with ASD from other typically developing kids?

As a parent or caretaker, you are in one of the best positions to identify the earliest and even the most unnoticed warning signs of autism spectrum disorder. Children with typical patterns of development eagerly respond to social bids, such as waving ‘bye-bye’ while leaving or looking at where you are pointing. But, children with autism tend to look at your hand instead of where you’re pointing and rarely respond to social interaction bids.

Since you understand your child and their behavioral patterns better, you are more likely to spot discrepancies others may fail to see. As a result, it is imperative that you pay close attention to if or when your child accomplishes important emotional, social, and cognitive markers to effectively identify the problem at the earliest. However, it is also important to note that developmental delays might not only point to autism spectrum disorder but also specify a heightened risk. And here, the key is to inform and educate yourself to understand what’s typical and what’s unusual when it comes to your little one –

Social & Communication Differences:

  • Lack of interest in communicating or continuing a conversation
  • Less likely to point to objects or people
  • Unresponsive to their name being called
  • Little to no eye contact
  • Not talking as much as their peers
  • Difficulty in making friends
  • Unusual gaze or vision — might view objects from atypical angles
  • Highly sensitive or insensitive to sounds, odors, lights, and touch
  • Prefers repetitive routines and rituals (stimming) – apprehensive toward change
  • Anxious about social situations

How to distinguish if a child has autism

The earliest signs of autism may unfold between 9 to 16 months and can be fairly easy to miss. However, if not caught early, these symptoms can have an adverse impact on cognitive development, resulting in language, social, and behavioral deficits. Moreover, in certain cases, the earliest symptoms of autism can even be misread as signs of a ‘good child’ since the baby may appear undemanding, silent, and independent.

So, when you know what exactly to look for, you can effectively catch the warning signs early on – since they don’t involve the presence of atypical behaviors, but instead, the absence of typical ones –

  1. 6 – 9 Months – Children with autism spectrum disorder may not smile or show other joyful emotions that others babies their age tend to express. On the other hand, some children may show minimal facial expressions and smile very rarely, which could be an early sign of autism.
  2. 9 – 12 Months – A typically developing baby will turn when its name is called. Children with ASD, however, may not turn to respond even when their name is repeated multiple times. Babies are generally motivated to look at faces, but if it’s difficult to get your child to look at you, this is likely an early indication of autism.
  3. 12 – 18 Months – By this age, a typically developing child begins to ‘baby talk’ or babble in order to communicate, but this milestone will likely be hampered in children with autism. Moreover, there can also be an absence of back-and-forth gestures, including waving or pointing. They may also be unable to make up for the delay in talking or confine their speech to repeating words heard within their immediate surroundings.
  4. 18 – 24 Months – Babies learn to use words, sounds and gestures to let parents know what they want or don’t want. Children are also eager to interact with objects and people as a way to communicate or even garner attention. Since they are now capable of shifting their attention from one setting to another, this creates numerous opportunities for learning from social interactions. However, if your child insists on particular things being the same and tends to become really upset and agitated over unexpected changes or if it is difficult for him or her to use gestures as well as sounds while looking at you at the same time, these aspects could be a strong indication of autism spectrum disorder.

As concerned parents, you may have been asked not to worry or to even wait it out. However, waiting could by far be the most unhelpful thing to do, given the risk of losing crucial time at a tender age when your little one may have the best possible chances of improvement. Besides, it is highly unlikely that your kid might ‘grow out’ of the problems and challenges they face, whether caused by autism or other developmental concerns. And in this case, your child might require additional assistance as well as targeted treatments and therapies for autism, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and early intervention.

Although every child develops at a pace different from the others, take a breather before you panic or worry if your kid is delayed to some extent in walking, talking, or reaching other developmental milestones. Nevertheless, if you do suspect a problem, make sure you share your concerns and apprehensions with your child’s pediatrician immediately – do not try out the ‘wait-and-watch’ approach. Sometimes, even doctors who mean well can misread red flags or under-evaluate the problem. So, make sure you listen to your instincts when you feel something is wrong, and continue to be persistent in seeking a second opinion or scheduling an appointment with a developmental specialist.

For more information, get in touch with our behavior analysts and trained professionals right here. We’re happy to assist you regarding any concerns you have about your child’s development needs and provide you with the best possible treatment options!