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Therapy for Autism Archives - EAS

Importance of Play Based Learning for Children with Autism

Importance of Play Based Learning for Children with Autism

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Play-based learning is essential for children with autism since it helps them nurture skills integral to learning and overall development. Studies also suggest that play-based learning, especially during formative years, can significantly influence the way a child’s brain develops. Moreover, it helps coordinate their physical and mental capabilities as well.

Through play, kids with autism can develop the following skills:

  • Language and Observation
  • Imitation Skills
  • Sharing & Co-Operation
  • Abstract Learning
  • Age Appropriate Skill Development
  • Gross & Fine Motor Skills
  • Problem-Solving Abilities
  • Improved Memory
  • Higher Retention Capacity
  • Creativity and Imagination

However, it is important to note that play is a documented field of difference in autism. For instance, while some children’s pretend play will likely be perceived as stereotypic, monotonous, and repetitive, others may engage in a more solitary type of play, indicating that these patterns differ from one child to another. As per the research article titled ‘Physical Activity and Physical Fitness of School-Aged Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders’ and Teaching Children With Autism Appropriate Play In Unsupervised Environments Using A Self-Management Treatment Package (PMC), children with ASD are less likely to be physically active compared to their peers; however, studies reveal that they are just as capable of being engaged and involved in play-based activities!

A child with autism may also require assistance in terms of understanding and learning how to play, thus presenting parents and children with an incredible opportunity to build a stronger bond and participate in an enriching experience.

How do I engage my autistic child in play activities?

Similar to typically developing children, kids with autism enjoy learning through play. When you actively assist your child in understanding how to play, you subsequently help them acquire and nurture valuable skills, such as sharing, consideration, taking turns, communicating and interacting, expressing feelings, and numerous others.

But, for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), challenges associated with communication and interaction can be amplified and sometimes even seem overwhelming in a play-based setting. So, here are some tips to help your autistic child engage in play activities:

1.) Opportunities for Imitation/Observation 

Kids on the autism spectrum find it difficult to learn from observing their environment. If your child does not play with toys appropriately or engages with only specific toys, it is essential that you practically demonstrate how to play. For instance, you can include different toys similar to the ones they already use; however, do not impose your expectations on the child. Instead, engage with the toys close to where your child is and ensure that you use innovative play methods. Treading slowly and steadily, let the kid approach you and then, gradually introduce the same play with them. For the best results, incorporate this method of play-based learning at least 5-6 times a week. And don’t hesitate to make the playtime fun and silly, because your kid will certainly love that!

2.) Explore structured play 

Kids with autism may experience complications during pretend play owing to generativity issues. For instance, a child may find it difficult to generate or produce novel actions and ideas required during pretend play. In this case, structured play can prove to be highly beneficial, as it helps children acquire social skills and understand the concepts of sharing and turn-taking in a deeper manner. Characterized as a type of playing where adults (or parents) direct the child’s play, structured play entails choosing interesting and interactive activities with clear, manageable objectives and goals. These factors also create a low-stress environment where children can experiment with the skills required to play effectively with other kids.

3.) Remember to keep trying and experimenting

As you continue exploring different play methods, often, the best-planned activities may not work out for your kid. In this case, it can be extremely overwhelming and disheartening to see your child struggle with an activity you hoped would be enjoyable and successful. But don’t give up just yet! Here, it is important that parents understand how certain aspects of an activity can be altered or modified in a way that best suits the child’s learning needs. Aligning with this, here are four different play methods to incorporate into your child’s routine:

  • Toy Play – Toy play is defined as learning how to use and play with toys in the manner they were designed. These include bringing a toy cell phone to the ear and speaking, pushing a toy train, throwing or kicking a ball, and playing with fidget spinners. Based on the kind of play items your child likes, toy play can significantly help develop creativity, thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Constructive Play – Building and making things constitutes constructive play. It involves working towards an objective, for instance, stacking blocks to build a tower, finishing a jigsaw puzzle, and painting or drawing a picture. In addition to nurturing their creative side, constructive play also helps in the development of motor skills.

Play based learning for children with autism in Hyderabad

  • Cause-and-Effect Play – Cause-and-effect play enables a child to learn that their actions can have a consequence or cause something to happen, thus providing them with a sense of control. To encourage your child with this type of play, you can show them how pressing a key produces sounds on a piano or how pressing a button makes an object pop up, and then take turns to continue playing.
  • Physical Play – Physical play provides your kid with full-body exercise while helping them to develop gross motor skills. Moreover, engaging in physical play can serve as a wonderful opportunity for your little one to explore his or her surroundings while communicating and interacting with those around them.

reliable center based ABA therapy provider for play based learning

Get in touch with a reliable center-based ABA therapy provider 

Center-based applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, such as those offered by Early Autism Services, presents a fun and interactive environment for children to explore, learn, and grow. These facilities also have experienced and trained behavior analysts to help support your child’s growth and development. So, make sure you get in touch with the right ABA therapy center near you and provide your child with the myriad benefits associated with play therapy for autism.

Finding The Right Play-Based Center For Your Child

Play-based learning is crucial for an autistic child’s development of emotional and social skills, including the capability to nurture positive relationships with peers. As children interact and play together, they also learn to get along with one another, communicate effectively, cooperate, and effectively resolve conflicts. And with data-driven and goal-oriented programs, EAS utilizes a play-based learning model as well as table time learning, interactive peer play, and free play.

Our experienced team of clinicians will help build a personalized program for your child and work toward achieving those targeted goals, including social skills, play skills, behavior planning, self-help, pre-academic skills, and numerous others. So, if you are ready to schedule a free consultation, or wish to speak with our experienced team, get in touch with us right here.

What are the Different Therapies for Autism?

What are the Different Therapies for Autism?

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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.