How to Treat Autism in Children

Children with autism display the most irrational and emotionally challenging symptoms. Doctors and parents can use a variety of treatment methods to manage these uncontrollable behaviors. These treatment methods will also help autism children cope with their social inabilities and physical challenges.

Autism is very common among children in the United States. Experts call it a developmental disability since it occurs out of nowhere during the crucial years of the child. The most unfortunate reality about this disorder is that it is a lifetime condition. Autism starts interfering with the child’s normal behavior at the age of three. At this early age, the condition already affects the patient’s ability to mingle with others, process information, and learn ordinary tasks. Autism varies in degree of severity. Physicians may classify an autistic condition, as either high functioning or intensely affected.

High functioning autistic conditions are the most common. A specialist can further classify it as either a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Aspergers Syndrome. Both types of high functioning autistic conditions share the same symptoms. Patients will experience stuttering, shyness, jerking, hand flapping, and routine insistence.

Bring your child directly to a specialist for appropriate diagnosis if he displays all or a combination of these symptoms. Qualified professionals, like child psychologists or pediatric neurologists, know how to treat your child appropriately.

All autistic children have high chances of improving their condition. Although it is a lifetime disability, the appropriate treatment methods for high functioning autism may even promote the child to attend mainstream schooling.

Get More Information on Natural Remedies for Autism and other PDDs

Seeking immediate treatment is very important once the specialist finds out about your child’s autistic condition. However, even treatment can interfere with the studies of the child. Nevertheless, you should not worry. Most schools in the United States offer special programs and classes for autistic children. Therefore, the first step in treating your child is to prepare a therapy plan and to customize his schooling arrangement.

As parents, you should not treat your child as if he has a disease. Do not seclude him from the world. Instead, let him live normally. Map out a series of therapies that will develop his communication, motor, behavioral, and social skills. Parents, teachers, and physicians should work together to come up with an IEP or Individualized Educational Plan. This is a plan that integrates both academic training and therapy.

The ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis is one of the most common therapies that specialists use in treating high frequency autism. Therapists use a set of reinforcement activities to train the child on how to conduct proper demeanor. This approach uses the reward system. When the child positively reacts, the therapist will give him a favor.

The ABA approach uses modules to target goals. The therapist teaches the child to achieve a set of attainable tasks. The child then learns from each of the tasks. Teaching a child to avoid showing tantrums, the therapist will usually give a task to the child, such as sitting properly on a chair. When the child is able to follow the direction, the therapist will then give the child his favorite toy or candy. The therapist will repeat the process if the child does not learn how to do this yet.

The program, indeed, teaches the child proper behavior. If it is successful, the child can move on to a more mainstream schooling. He may attend either a regular class or a special education program where the child joins and learns with other young autism patients.

The concept that high functioning autism causes stupidity is wrong. Despite the obvious low results in IQ tests, children with high functioning autism can accomplish and learn tasks just like ordinary children. Low IQ results of autistic children are only a scratch on the surface. In fact, there are factors that may distract the child during an IQ test, thus, resulting in low scores.

The real challenge actually lies in the way autistic children identify questions. They need a visual representation of the each item and require more time to answer these questions. Interestingly, young autistic patients are more adept to think and decide using more visual terms than ordinary people. Visually aided questionnaires are also a perfect groundwork for autistics in facing real life tests.

Abrupt changes in the surroundings are often the triggers of autistic tantrums. However, with appropriate scheduling and orientation, a child with autism can learn to accept changes and process disruptions in his routines. As a parent, you should map out a plan before you set an activity for your child so he will know what to do first and next. It will help if you guide your child using pictures instead of verbal instructions. Try to approach your child in a mild manner using phrases like “after 3 minutes, we will put your toy to the box, and eat food.” This will give your child a clear idea of what he should do and expect.

As supplementary therapy for special education training, your child will also need additional training for language and speaking skills. Although autistic children can become extremely verbal, parents and therapists should work together to improve the clarity and accuracy of every word that comes out of their mouth. Therapists will use language skills tests to teach the child how to reply to certain questions or commands. Parents should not tolerate or promote baby language. Try to talk to them straight like an adult, with clear words, but in milder manner.

Another important phase in treating autism is motor skills therapy. Special children may develop sensitivity in sound, smell, noise, and texture. And to correct and improve these sensitivities, occupational therapists can help by introducing the child into a set of tests. Parents and teachers can integrate the motor skills therapy into other therapies.

These treatment methods are actually just a few among those what a specialist can recommend. Parents, teachers, and therapists can simultaneously conduct only a few of these methods. The language and speech treatment methods, for instance, are of the individual type of therapy. Therefore, he cannot join other children during this session.

The severity of the child’s high frequency autism may affect his therapies. He may not be able learn that much, thus, making medication the best course of action to take. These new approaches in treating autism prove to be workable for most patients. However, it is only through early detection and intervention that these therapies will work.