Treatment and Intervention Services for Autism Spectrum Disorder

signs of autism in infants

At present, no treatment has been proven to treat ASD However, several strategies have been designed and tested to be used with children. 

signs of autism in infants

The interventions can help reduce symptoms, enhance cognitive abilities and daily living abilities, and increase the capacity children to participate and contribute to the world.

The different ways ASD affects every person is that individuals with ASD possess distinct strengths and weaknesses in the areas of social communication as well as behavior and cognitive abilities. 

Thus treatment plans are generally multidisciplinary, and may include parent-mediated interventions, and are geared towards the child’s specific needs.

Behavioral intervention strategies have focused on social communication skill development–particularly at young ages when the child would naturally be gaining these skills–and reduction of restricted interests and repetitive and challenging behaviors. 

For certain children, speech and occupational therapy could be beneficial as can social skills training and medications for older children. 

The ideal treatment or method is dependent on the individual’s age as well as their strengths, challenges and individual differences.

It is also crucial to keep in mind that children with ASD may be injured or sick similar to children who do not have ASD. 

Regular dental and medical examinations should be a part of the treatment plan for children. It is often difficult to determine whether a child’s behavior is connected to ASD or is a result of another health issue. 

For example the head banging can be a sign of ASD or be an indication that the child is experiencing headaches or headaches. In such instances an exhaustive physical examination is required. 

Monitoring healthy development does not mean just paying attention to the symptoms associated with ASD however, it is also about the child’s mental and physical health.

It is not clear what are the best strategies for adults and older children with ASD. There is some studies on social skill groups for children of older age but there isn’t enough evidence to prove that they work to be effective.

Further research is required for evaluating interventions that aim to enhance outcomes for adults. Additionally, services are crucial to help people who suffer from ASD finish their education or training for work to find work as well as secure housing and transportation, care for their health, improve their daily functioning, and take part as fully as is possible in their community.

signs of autism in infants

Different types of treatments

There are a variety of treatment options that are available. They include applied behavior analysis as well as social skills training physical therapy, occupational therapy and sensory integration therapy and the use of assistive technologies.

The kinds of treatments that are commonly used can be divided into the following groups:

  • Communication and Behavior
  • Dietary Methods
  • Medication
  • Supplementary and Alternative Medicine

Communication and Behavior

According to research conducted by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Research Council, behavior and communication methods that support children suffering from ASD include those which offer the structure, direction and organisation for the child as well as family involvement.

A.B.A. (ABA)
An effective treatment method for those suffering from ASD is applied behavioral analysis (ABA). ABA is now widely recognized by health professionals and utilized in numerous schools and treatment centers. 

ABA promotes positive behavior and deters negative behavior to enhance a range of abilities. The progress of the child is tracked and assessed.

There are many kinds of ABA. Here are a few examples:

  • Distinction Trial Training (DTT)
    DTT is a type of teaching which uses the use of a series of tests to help students understand every step needed to achieve an desired response or behavior. Instructions are broken into basic components as well as positive reinforcement utilized to give correct answers and actions. Correct answers are discarded.
  • Early Intensive behavioral Intervention (EIBI)
    It is a form of ABA for children who are very young who suffer from ASD typically less than 5, and usually less than 3. EIBI utilizes a very organized method of teaching to develop positive behavior (such for social interactions) and decrease undesirable behaviors (such as aggression, tantrums or self-harm). EIBI is conducted in a one-on one adult-child relationship with the guidance of a certified professional.
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

This is a kind of ABA that is designed for children with ASD from the age of 12 to 48 months. Through ESDM the therapists and parents engage in joint activities and play to assist children in developing their language, social and cognitive abilities.

  • Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
    PRT’s goal is to increase children’s enthusiasm to learn, observe their behavior and encourage communication with others. Changes in the positive aspects of these behavior are thought to have broad impact on other behaviours.
  • Verbal Behavior Intervention (VBI)
    VBI is a form of ABA which is focused on teaching the use of words.

There are additional therapies that are as part of a comprehensive treatment program for children who suffers from ASD:

Helpive Technology
Assistive technology, such as devices like electronic tablets and communication boards are able to help those who suffer from ASD connect and communicate with other people. 

For instance it is the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) employs pictures to help teach the skills of communication. The pupil is taught how to make use of pictures to ask and respond to questions and to engage in conversation. 

Some people may also use tablets as a speech generator as well as a communication gadget.

Individual Differences and Developmental Relationship-Based Methodology (also known as “Floortime”)
Floortime is focused on the development of emotional and interpersonal skills (feelings and interactions to caregivers). It also considers how children deal with sounds, sights and smells.

Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped CHildren (TEACCH)external icon
TEACCH employs visual cues to help teach the basics of a skill. For instance the use of picture cards to teach children how to dress themselves by breaking down information into smaller steps.

OTR
Occupational therapy is a method of teaching skills to enable the person to be as independent as they can. Skills could include eating, dressing bathing, preparing for bathing, or relating with others.

Social Skills Training
Social skills training helps children develop the necessary skills to be able to communicate with other people, which includes conversations and problem-solving abilities.

Therapy Speech Therapy
Speech therapy aids in improving the communication abilities of a person. Certain people can acquire the art of communicating verbally. Some prefer gestures or pictures boards is more real.

Dietary Methods

A few dietary remedies are being developed to help treat ASD symptoms. However, a comprehensive review of 19 randomised controlled trials found no evidence for the benefits of dietary therapies for children who suffer from ASD.

Certain biomedical treatments require adjustments to the diet. These changes could include the removal of certain food items from the diet of a child and utilizing mineral or vitamin supplements.

 Dietary therapies are founded on the notion that food allergies or a lack of minerals and vitamins cause signs of ASD. Many parents believe that diet adjustments can impact the way their child behaves or behaves.

If you’re thinking of changing the diet of your child consult your doctor first , or consult an accredited dietitian to make certain that the diet of your child contains the essential vitamins and minerals to help them grow and develop.

Medication

There aren’t any medications which can be used to cure ASD or treat the underlying symptoms. There are however medication that may help patients who suffer from ASD perform better. 

For instance, medications can assist in managing excessive energy levels and inability to concentrate as well as depression and anxiety self-injury and behavioral reactivity or seizures.

Certain medications might not affect all children in the exact same in the same way. It is essential to collaborate with a healthcare professional with experience dealing with children with ASD. 

Health professionals and parents need to be attentive to a child’s development and reactions while is taking medication to ensure that any adverse side effects from the treatment are not more than the advantages.

Complementary or Alternative Medicine Treatments

To ease those symptoms that are associated with ASD Some parents and health professionals employ therapies that aren’t what is usually recommended by pediatricians. These therapies are called the complementary or alternative medical (CAM) treatment. 

CAM treatments are products or services used in conjunction with or instead of traditional medical treatments. These may include diets that are special, dietary supplementsexternal icon and the process of chelation (a treatment that removes heavy metals like lead from your body) and biologicals (for example, the hormone secretin) or mind-body-medicine.

The majority treatments haven’t been tested for effectiveness as well as the review of studies regarding chelation showed certain evidence of harm but not enough evidence to suggest that it’s beneficial in the treatment of children suffering from ASD. 

Recent research suggests that up to one third families of kids suffering from ASD have attempted CAM treatments which could mean that about 10% of them could have been using a potentially harmful treatment. Before beginning treatments, speak to your child’s physician.

For more information about CAM treatments for ASD For more information about CAM therapies for ASD, visit The National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine’s Autismexternal icon page. 

The FDA offers information about potential risks associated with treatments using this external icon.

Additional Treatment Resources

The National Institute of Deafness, and other Disorders of Communication Disordersexternal icon is a website designed to aid people suffering from ASD who are struggling with communication.

The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Studiesexternal icon offers resources to aid healthcare professionals and caregivers to meet the dental health needs of people suffering from ASD.

Clinical Trials.Govexternal icon shows federally-funded clinical trials that are searching for participants. You or someone else you might know would like to be a part in an autism research study visit the site and type in “autism.”

It is the Autism Treatment Networkexternal icons (ATN) is a non-profit organization that aims to establish standards of medical care that can be widely accessible to physicians as well as parents, researchers, policymakers, and other people who are interested in improving the treatment of people who suffer from autism. 

ATN is also working on an integrated national database for medical care that will record the outcomes of studies and treatments in each of the five regional treatment centers.