There is no cure for autism today, but autism therapy is available and can be quite effective if done properly. Autism therapy is sometimes referred to as intervention, and it should involve behavioral, educational and medical treatment. The best programs address a variety of needs, including parental assistance and work toward improving behavior, communication skills, social interaction and learning abilities.
Autism therapy is most effective when it is done in a highly structured setting that is adapted to the individual needs of the autistic child. Since the symptoms of autism can change over the years, it is vital that autism therapy adjust with the behavioral and learning changes.
There are basically four different types of autism therapy: behavioral and educational, specialized therapies, medical treatment and parental support and training. Whatever autism therapy is used, it is important to tailor the learning to the specific needs of the individual. The forms of autism therapy are briefly described below:
Autism Therapy - Behavioral and Educational Training
Behavioral interventions help an autistic child learn how to act appropriately in social situations that can cause them a great amount of anxiety. They also work on speaking and communication skills, so it is important for this autism therapy to begin at as early an age as possible.
Educational training is very intense and focused on improving specific skills that are chosen based on the child's particular need set. There is evidence suggesting that beginning skill-specific education at a very early age can greatly improve development in a child with autism.
Autism Therapy - Specialized Therapies
This type of autism therapy includes occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy. Again, it is important that these interventions are in line with the autistic child's individual abilities. If there is no severe motor disabilities, then physical therapy may not be required. However, if the child is unable to speak properly, it will be important to start them quickly in a speech therapy program.
Autism Therapy - Medical Treatment
There are a number of prescription drugs that are prescribed for autistic individuals, especially those who suffer from severe autism symptoms. The purpose of medication is usually to cut down on behaviors that may injure the individual, but it can also be used to treat associated illnesses like attention deficit or epilepsy.
Autism Therapy - Parental Support and Training
The affects of an autistic family member can be very hard to live with, and seeking out proper support and training can really benefit an autistic child. At the same time, family life will be much less stressful when the proper support structures are in place and care takers know how to deal with the symptoms and behavior associated with autism.
These are the most recognized forms of autism therapy, but there are some alternative therapies that have gotten some news coverage recently. Use caution when subscribing to any autism therapy that seems too good to be true. Always get as much information as possible, perhaps by joining a community support group and talking to other families of autistic individuals.