";}
Tag

Autism Therapy Archives - EAS

Detecting early autism steps and treatment

Processing Your Child’s Autism Diagnosis: Next Best Steps and Treatment Options

By | Blog | No Comments

Receiving your child’s autism diagnosis can be unnerving. Maybe you had an inclination or perhaps, the official diagnosis came as an absolute shock to you; either way, it can be challenging and anxiety-inducing to reimagine your little one’s future with the pervasive presence of a serious developmental condition. 

But remember, you are not alone, and it is absolutely normal to feel this way. An autism diagnosis does not change who your child is or what they are capable of accomplishing. 

The important thing here is to understand that autism can be managed. To date, there is no known ‘cure’ for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there are myriad treatment options for ASD, through which your child will be able to grow, learn, and acquire new skill sets within the realm of their unlimited potential, just like typically developing children. Hence, some of the most essential steps to take, following your child’s diagnosis, is to thoroughly educate yourself as well as your immediate family members about the extent of the condition while modifying and regulating your home environment to ensure that your child’s unique needs can be adequately met. And of course, it is of utmost importance to seek professional treatment services for autism by reaching out to evidence-based approaches such as Early Autism Services (EAS)

Autism Diagnosis: What to Expect

As the name suggests, children with ASD can display a ‘spectrum’ of symptoms varying from lower functioning to higher functioning. Based on the condition’s severity and where they are on the spectrum, the symptoms experienced by your child can fit into one of these diagnostic levels, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5):

Level 1 – Considered the mildest form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), children at this level are ‘highly functioning’ and have mild symptoms that don’t necessarily impact academic performance or interpersonal relationships substantially. However, they do require a certain degree of support. Also, these kids may not experience significant impairments in terms of their cognitive or communication skills. Children formerly diagnosed with PDD-NOS or Asperger’s Syndrome would now be categorized under Level 1.

Level 2 – Level 2, or the middle-range of autism, necessitates ‘substantial support,’ and the severity of symptoms is relatively more intense compared to Level 1. The issues faced by children include restricted interests and trouble with vocal communication, in addition to repetitive behaviors. Moreover, they may also experience difficulties in using or understanding non-verbal communication, including gestures and facial expressions. 

Level 3 – As the most impairing level in terms of symptom severity, children that are classified under Level 3 need ‘very substantial support’ and are considered ‘lower functioning.’ They also depict significant impairments in their cognitive and vocal abilities and, as a result, are unable to live independently. 

Therapies & Treatment Options for ASD

After your child’s diagnosis, it is important to communicate with experts about designing a strategic treatment plan for the best results. Over the last few decades, research pertaining to treatments for autism has also grown exponentially, thus presenting parents and professionals with new support ideas and strategies. Accordingly, the treatment options for autism spectrum disorder may include the following – 

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) 

Applied behavior analysis, or autism ABA, is one of the most widely accepted and researched forms of behavioral therapy for children with ASD. At Early Autism Services, our center-based ABA therapy services offer a fun and inviting environment for your child to learn, explore, and grow! With board certified behaviour analysts, well-developed ABA therapy techniques, and in-home ABA therapy sessions, your child will truly receive the support needed to thrive in every aspect.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy (OT) is of significant value when addressing underlying issues associated with physical, cognitive, sensory, motor, and social skills consistent with developmental conditions like autism. And in this regard, an occupational therapist can greatly help your child enhance their quality of life in school as well as at home! With a core focus on promoting the development of essential life skills, your kid will be able to learn daily life skills, such as dressing up on their own, brushing, toilet training, and others.

Educational Therapy 

Children diagnosed with ASD typically respond very well to highly structured academic plans. Some of the most successful educational programs used by professionals include various activities in order to improve communication, behavioral, and social skills, coupled with the steadfast efforts of an experienced team of specialists.

Mental Health Services

Children with autism spectrum disorder are at a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems, including phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Your child’s pediatrician and mental health professional can provide you with the right resources and assistance required to manage ASD-related mental health issues and conditions. 

Medication Management 

Presently, there is no specific medicine for treating autism. However, several medications may help with associated symptoms. Research suggests that medication is most effective when combined with behavioral therapies for ASD and should always be taken after a recommendation from an experienced development pediatrician. Also, ensure your ABA team is in the loop as some of the drugs may have side effects. 


Speech Therapy for Autistic Children in Bangalore

Speech and Language Therapy 

Social communication, as well as the development of speech and language, can be adversely impacted by autism in several ways. As an integral part of therapies for autistic children, speech therapy can help cater to a wide variety of communication challenges while enhancing their nonverbal, verbal, and social skills. Moreover, children with autism also tend to be more visual learners than verbal learners. As a result, they will significantly benefit from visual interpretations and representations of language that supplement what is said verbally. 

What’s Next?

Although children diagnosed with ASD can effectively learn and compensate for related issues throughout the course of their life, the majority of kids will still need a certain degree of assistance. As a result, it is integral to plan for their future by availing the services and facilities required to make the process absolutely seamless. 

For more information, make sure you check out our resources for parents and schedule a free consultation with EAS’ expert behavior analysts here. Our team can provide you with a basic overview of our programs, answer questions about the different approaches we use, discuss costs, and walk you through your insurance coverage, as well.

Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD FAQs

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Early Literacy: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

By | Blog | No Comments

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) possess a unique collection of strengths as well as weaknesses that may influence their academic development. Studies suggest that while children and adolescents with autism are at a higher risk for literacy difficulties, some kids may also be proficient at alphabet knowledge, including reading words and phonetics. But, it is important to note that the ability to read words does not always equal sufficient reading comprehension. Similarly, children may find writing-related tasks relatively more challenging owing to wider complications associated with social communication and linguistic development.

Children with autism don’t necessarily develop early literacy skill sets at par with other typically developing kids. Although some kids learn to recognize alphabets and letters at a significantly young age, they may lack other facets of early literacy, like understanding why people write and read or figuring out the intentions and actions of various characters in a story.

However, with combined efforts from you and your child’s therapist, and with a little extra time and patience, your child can indeed make significant progress in their academics and early learning! So, in order to make your literacy journey with your little one smoother, we have compiled a list of the most common questions that parents often have, with in-depth answers by our experts – 

What are some of the most important literacy skills I should teach my child?

important literacy skills I should teach my child

A:  While learning the alphabet and numbers is essential, your child must be familiar with fundamental, basic literacy skills in order to effectively develop reading and writing abilities to the best of their potential. These include knowing how to hold a book properly and turning pages without tearing them, speaking and understanding words and sentences using the right pronunciation, story comprehension, holding a crayon and a pencil, and writing his/her own name, in addition to the names of immediate family members. It’s also important for the child to be able to hold his attention for a brief period of time to be able to focus on the act of writing. Do not force kids to sit. You can allow them to scribble while standing. Gradually help them sit and write. Feel free to use pencil grippers to make it easier for the child. Sound awareness, such as perceiving that words can be broken down into simpler syllables and knowing that every letter has a unique and distinct sound, is an important literary element, as well. 

How can I make reading time more interesting for my kid?

How to make reading interesting for my child with autism

A: Here are some ways you can make reading or study time more interesting for your child – 

  • Use visual aids and structured activities
  • Don’t be afraid of using props, figurines, puppets, and other objects to make those stories come alive!
  • Keep instructions simple and clear to understand
  • Use your voice and facial expressions to add meaning and interest
  • Ask questions when reading together – for instance, ‘what do you think the bird is feeling?’ ‘what do you think happens next?’ or even ‘what is the color of the little boy’s shirt?’ are definitely some good places to start.

My child has minimal vocal skills. Is there any way I could help them read?

A: The answer is yes! Some parents presume that children on the autism spectrum who can’t speak or have minimal vocal capacities cannot possibly learn to read. However, that’s far from the truth! In fact, many children also seem to understand how to read on their own – despite not receiving direct literacy instruction. They do so in several ways, including matching sentences and words to pictures or even following written text with their finger as an adult reads to them. You can also establish pre-reading skills at an earlier stage in their life by asking your kid to point to different characters, turning the pages of books, or giving them the opportunity to pick the reading material of their choice. 

Should I discourage my child from reading ‘non-conventional’ reading materials and only focus on story books?

Early Autsim Spectrum FAQsA: Children with autism enjoy reading magazines and books related to their interests. These can include non-fiction books about animals, space, and dinosaurs, in addition to magazines about automobiles or pamphlets and periodicals with simple images. They should certainly not be discouraged from reading such books since it encourages them to interact and engage with words and pictures printed on the pages. Moreover, you can also have conversations with your child about what they’ve been reading in order to keep up with their interests and provide them with additional material when required. 

My child refuses to write or even look at the paper. What can I do to assist her?

A: While this is a common problem experienced by parents, being patient, empathetic, and encouraging is one of the best keys to use here. Ensure that you’re not frustrated because of their refusal to interact with stationery and books. Instead, make use of visual or digital cues to help your kid better understand lines, words, and shapes. This approach not only helps them grasp the essence of making movements with a writing tool, such as a pen, stylus, or pencil but provides them with an actual purpose and end result of using those lines – such as transitioning from scribbling random lines/shapes to writing actual words. Remember, at times it really helps when the adult engages in tasks that they would want the child to do. Colour their favourite cartoon character, paint/sketch while talking about preferred themes (cars, locations, animals, zoo trips etc).

What are some everyday reading and writing strategies to use with my child on the autism spectrum?

A: Reading and writing don’t necessarily have to happen only in school or during study time at home. So, here’s how you can incorporate reading and writing into your child’s daily schedule – 

  • Label items present in your child’s immediate environment. For example, you can place a label that says ‘keys’ next to the keyholder or a sticker that reads ‘remote’ on the TV remote. 
  • Give your child easy access to paper, crayons, and pencils, so they can write or draw whenever they wish to. 
  • Encourage them to recognize and read words in their surroundings, such as hoardings and billboards, menu cards at restaurants, packaging labels, birthday or wedding cards, and even road signs. 
  • You can also ask your child to help you note down grocery shopping items, write to-do lists, and label their belongings. 

Remember that you certainly do not need to wait until your child begins schooling in order to inculcate early literacy skills and interest; because the earlier you start, the better results you achieve. By pointing out printed words in your child’s daily life or by providing your child with colorful and simple reading material, you can surely take the first step towards fostering a life-long love and interest for books!

And if you require additional assistance with your child’s special academic and literacy needs, make sure you get in touch with our behavior analysts & clinicians and schedule a free consultation right here.

What are the Different Therapies for Autism?

What are the Different Therapies for Autism?

By | Blog | No Comments

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized as a developmental disability stemming from a combination of environmental and genetic or non-genetic influences. Children with ASD often have problems associated with social interaction or communication, in addition to different ways of paying attention, learning, and moving.

Since autism is a spectrum disorder, every child diagnosed with the condition possesses a distinct set of challenges and strengths. For instance, the manner in which individuals with autism think, learn, and solve problems may range from severely challenged to highly skilled and efficient. While some children with ASD may need intensive behavior intervention and support in order to complete day-to-day tasks, others will likely require relatively lesser support and, in some cases, can live independently as well.

Autism Diagnosis and Treatment

Autism Diagnosis and Treatment Bangalore

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be challenging since there exists no specific medical examination, such as a blood test, in order to identify the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a result, physicians analyze the developmental and behavioral history of the child to make a diagnosis. In this regard, some of the common signs and indications of autism are:

  • Unprecedented reactions to sounds, sights, tastes, smells, and touch
  • Dependence on routines and rules
  • Difficulty in maintaining eye contact
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Minimal interest in pretend play

Also, it is crucial to note that a child with autism spectrum disorder will not demonstrate all symptoms, and the signs may also vary in intensity.

Autism care is highly effective when started early with younger children, such as infants and toddlers experiencing developmental delays. Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder also have the best chance of utilizing the majority of their abilities if they obtain appropriate therapies and interventions. Moreover, research indicates that early diagnosis and interventions for autism, such as before or during preschool, can have significant positive influences on symptoms and future skills.

Therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 

Presently, a standard therapy for treating autism spectrum disorder does not exist. However, studies have shown that medication is most functional when combined with behavioral therapies. Although various therapies have the potential to support children with autism, the treatment recommended for every child may differ based on personality, age, as well as a diverse range of abilities. It is also integral that autism treatment focuses on a child’s specific needs instead of the diagnostic label since an overlap in symptoms can emerge between ASD and other conditions, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

From understanding your child’s diagnosis to beginning a therapy program, there are several steps along the way. So, for starters, how do you choose from all the different therapies available for autism? Read on to find out –

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Considered a gold-standard treatment for autism and other developmental conditions, applied behavior analysis entails a type of therapy that can improve communication, social skills, and learning via reinforcement strategies. Applied behavior analysis for autism results in children communicating more effectively, learning to ask for things they want, showing more interest in those around them, and remaining more focused in school, among other developments. An added advantage of ABA therapy is that it can also be conducted at home. In fact, studies show that some children work best with in home ABA since they feel more comfortable and relaxed in an environment they’re familiar with.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy for autism focuses on the connection between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It can also help children manage the challenges they face by helping them understand and recognize how their thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and emotions influence each other. Conventional CBT requires strong abstract thinking capabilities and linguistic skills. However, this can be challenging for children with autism. As a result, researchers have developed certain modifications to traditional behavior therapy, rendering it more ASD-friendly and making it more concrete, visual, and repetitive.

  • Early Intervention

As per research, early diagnosis and interventions for autism are more likely to have a positive long-term impact on ASD symptoms as well as future skill sets. Early intervention occurs at or before the child begins preschool, as early as 2 or 3 years of age. With early intervention, some autistic children make significant progress and are no longer on the autism spectrum when they are older. These programs typically include nutrition services, hearing impairment services, family training, and physical therapy as well.

  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

Relationship development intervention teaches children with autism how to form bonds and fortify relationships with their parents, guardians, and other family members. Primarily recognized as a family-based therapy, the components of RDI for autism include social, psychological, and flexible thinking. While the child must learn to cope with difficult transitions, the parents also undergo training, thus becoming the child’s main therapist. At its core, RDI is a parent-led approach that concentrates on enabling autistic children to think flexibly, develop social skills, and learn to engage and build close relationships.

  • Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and language therapy plays a vital role in helping your child overcome social isolation while enhancing their understanding and use of communication. Often, it is also possible that a child with autism may have a comorbid diagnosis necessitating speech therapy. Here, it can be advantageous to integrate a therapy type that provides suitable treatments for both autism as well as the health condition. Speech therapy for autism can be highly beneficial; however, it may not be the most impactful strategy for children suffering from severe ASD.

  • Play Therapy

To many kids with autism spectrum disorder, playing is the way they best express themselves. In this regard, their actions, toys, and other play items become their words and manner of expression. Play therapy can significantly aid children with ASD connect with others, predominantly in a way they understand and feel comfortable with.

What’s Next?

Child undergoing ABA Therapy

As demonstrated, numerous therapies can help children with autism enhance and strengthen their abilities to the best of their potential and reduce their symptoms. Although beginning therapy early, either before preschool or during, greatly improves the chances for success, it is never too late to start treatment.

And at Early Autism Services (EAS), we prioritize just that!

The curriculum in our well-designed program combines decades of research as well as years of experience in applied behavior analysis in order to provide children and parents with the best possible results. So if you’d like to learn more about the autism therapy services we offer, get in touch with us right away.

To Summarize

Here are some of the most effective therapies for autism available today

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Early Intervention
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Play Therapy

Infants and toddlers experiencing developmental delays benefit greatly from autism treatment when started early. In addition, children with autism spectrum disorder are more likely to be able to utilize their abilities if they receive appropriate therapies and interventions.