What treatments are there for autism? There is no single best treatment for all children with ASD.
The most important point is to start treatment as early and intensively as possible! If you are concerned about your child's development, check out First Signs , a website with information and resources for early identification and intervention for children with developmental delays and disorders. There is no cure for autism, but early and intensive treatment can help children with autism improve their behavior, communication and social skills. Treatment may include support and facilitation, behavior modification, educational therapy, and medicine.
Every state has an early intervention program and you will want to get your child enrolled as soon as possible. If you live in Michigan, your doctor may refer you to the Early On Program in your local school district. Early On and all states' early intervention programs offer many different services and will help set up an individualized program for your family.
It is most important to start treatment as early as possible, and make sure it involves intensive, one-on-one interaction with your child. It is a comprehensive report from a committee of experts from many different fields who reviewed current research and policy. They have created a "map" to guide the education of young children birth to age eight with autistic spectrum disorders. A section entitled "Characteristics of Effective Interventions," on page 6 of the Executive Summary of the report, states 3. Overall, effective programs are more similar than different in terms of levels of organization, staffing, ongoing monitoring, and the use of certain techniques, such as discrete trial, incidental learning, and structured teaching periods.
However, there are real differences in philosophy and practice that provide a range of alternatives for parents and school systems. The National Institute of Mental Health offers a list of questions parents can ask when making these important decisions. What kinds of intensive, interaction-based therapies are available? While we do not endorse any particular interaction-based treatment program, we want you to be aware of some of the options.
Some of the treatment programs that focus on working intensively and one-on-one with children are:. What about alternative treatments? You may hear about new or alternative treatments that people are talking about. Before starting your child on one of these, talk about it with your child's doctor or health care provider. Many "treatments" that are marketed to parents of children with autism are very expensive, may harm you child, and are not based on sound research.
Beware of treatments that claim to have a miracle "cure" for autism. Do not let alternative or complementary treatments infringe in any way on intensive, behaviorally structured treatment programs, such as those described in the section above. We know beyond a doubt that intensive, active engagement in a therapeutic program helps young children on the autism spectrum develop skills. What is special education? What happens as my child grows up into an adult? Transition planning is planning to prepare your child to lead a rewarding life as an adult.
As your child gets closer to adulthood, they will need an IEP transition plan. Transition planning begins at age It is part of the IEP every year after that. At age 16, planning will begin for how your child will transition from school into the community. The goal is for your child to become as independent as possible.
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Your child should take part in the planning , because their input will help make the plan more successful. For resources on youth with intellectual disabilities attending college, visit the ThinkCollege website. What do I need to know about the laws that have to do with early intervention and special education? What are our rights? What are some tips for parenting kids with autism? Pay attention to your child's environment and routine:. How can I get more information, help and support?
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Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, R. Updated December Back to top What do you think? Take our online survey! Michigan Medicine, E. Contact Us. The Michigan Medicine Web site does not provide specific medical advice and does not endorse any medical or professional service obtained through information provided on this site or any links to this site.
Complete disclaimer and Privacy Statement. Search this site. Causes Childhood Vaccines Diagnosis Treatment - early and intensive! Interaction-based treatments Alternative treatments Special education Transition to adulthood Legal rights Parenting tips New diagnosis? Where to start. Information and support Ask a question about this topic Our editorial policy. This fact sheet provides a brief overview and resource list. For a diagnosis of autism, a child must have a specified number of symptoms in these areas: social interaction communication including language delay restricted range of behaviors, activities and interests often called stereotypic behaviors If you think your child may have these traits, talk to your health care provider and find out how to have your child evaluated.
It's also in Spanish. What is Rett Syndrome? See YourChild: Rett Syndrome. Find out more about the NIH autism research. Campbell talks about vaccine safety at about in the video.
If you have concerns about your child , please read this information from First Signs, especially the Red Flags. Tips for your child's developmental assessment , from Zero to Three , is a guide for parents who are concerned about their baby's, toddler's or preschooler's development and learning. It will help you prepare for an evaluation, and know what to expect. Read all about finding help for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. You can get this information in plain text, PDF, or in Spanish. A section entitled "Characteristics of Effective Interventions," on page 6 of the Executive Summary of the report, states 3 "The consensus across programs is generally strong concerning the need for: early entry into an intervention program; active engagement in intensive instructional programming for the equivalent of a full school day, including services that may be offered in different sites, for a minimum of 5 days a week with full-year programming; use of planned teaching opportunities, organized around relatively brief periods of time for the youngest children e.
Some of the treatment programs that focus on working intensively and one-on-one with children are: Applied Behavior Analysis ABA ABA is a broad set of principles and guidelines that is often used as a framework for treating autism. ABA is a one-on-one, intensive, structured teaching program based on the ideas of behavior modification and involving reinforced practice of different skills.
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For more information, visit his website. You can also visit The Floortime Foundation to learn more. Augmentative and Alternative Communication AAC This augmentative communication glossary will help you learn the terms. Take a look at these red flags and rules of thumb for evaluating treatments. Here is a helpful overview of the special education process.
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Find out all about the process on this comprehensive page from the US Department of Education. You can also download the information in Word or PDF format.
Find out how to help create a useful IEP for your child. Empower yourself to be a great advocate for your child at IEP meetings. Use this Pop-Up IEP from Hands and Voices , a support group for families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing to find out some of the common hurdles that may surface during the meeting and how to deal with them. The team of people helping your child may include many different kinds of teachers, therapists and paraprofessionals.
Here are descriptions of some of the different kinds of service providers who may work with your child. Find out your rights, as a parent, in the special education process. This is also available in PDF , and Spanish. Pay attention to your child's environment and routine: Keep the environment predictable and familiar, and prepare your child for changes. For example, count down the time until a transition. Provide consistent structure and routine. Many children respond well to visual supports, such as a daily schedule using pictures. Schedules help to give information about what is happening in the day and give a place for the child to check when needed just like you might check your planner or shopping list.
Pay attention to sensory input from the environment, like noise, temperature, smells, crowds, etc. Communicate clearly. Be logical, organized, clear, concise and concrete.