Treatment For Children With Autism
Child development experts agree that a child with autism should receive treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible. There is no cure for autism, but early intervention using skills-training and behavior modification can yield excellent results. This type of educational and behavioral treatment tackles autism symptoms — impaired social interaction, communication problems, and repetitive behaviors. It can also boost the chances of a child with child autism being able to go to school and participate in typical activities.
Other treatment options for children with autism include:
- Medication. Doctors sometimes prescribe it for children with autism if they have other symptoms, including depression, anxiety, seizures, or hyperactivity.
- Alternative therapies. These might include vitamin treatments, changes in diet, and a procedure called “chelation” that attempts to remove heavy metals from the blood. Although many parents insist these types of treatment work, researchers have not scientifically proven them effective for children with autism, either for symptoms or long-term outcomes. Chelation, in particular, is dangerous and should be avoided. Deaths have been associated with this type of therapy. You should always discuss the safety and effectiveness of any alternative treatments with your doctor before trying them.
What Age Do Autistic Children Talk
Autistic children with verbal communication generally hit language milestones later than children with typical development.
While typically developing children produce their first words between 12 and 18 months old, autistic children were found to do so at an average of 36 months.Since each autistic child is unique in their development, the age when they produce their first words differs.
Until recently, parents and caregivers of children with autism were made to believe that their child would not speak ever if they did not do so by the time they turn 4 or five.
However, a recent study showed that most of the children participating in the study acquired language skills, and almost half of them became fluent speakers. More than 70% could speak in simple phrases. This indicates that language-delayed children with autism could eventually develop speech.
Onset Of Autism: Early Onset Vs Regression
Autism develops sometime during pregnancy and the first three years of life. Some parents report that their child seemed different at birth. These children are referred to as having early-onset autism. Other parents report that their child seemed to develop normally and then had a major regression resulting in autism, usually around 12-24 months. These children are referred to as having late-onset or regressive autism. Some researchers argue that the regression is not real or the autism was simply unnoticed by the childs parents. However, many parents report that their children were completely normal until sometime between 1 and 2 years of age.
A study published in 2003, conducted by the first author, compared 53 autistic children with 48 typical peers. The parents of the early-onset autism group reported a significant delay in reaching developmental milestones, including age of crawling , sitting up , walking , and talking . Thus, there appeared to be a delay in gross motor skills as well as of talking, so many children with autism also need physical therapy. In contrast, the late-onset autism group reached developmental milestones at the same time as typical children.
Don’t Miss: James Holzhauer Autistic
How Are The Speech And Language Problems Of Asd Treated
If a doctor suspects a child has ASD or another developmental disability, he or she usually will refer the child to a variety of specialists, including a speech-language pathologist. This is a health professional trained to treat individuals with voice, speech, and language disorders. The speech-language pathologist will perform a comprehensive evaluation of the childs ability to communicate, and will design an appropriate treatment program. In addition, the speech-language pathologist might make a referral for a hearing test to make sure the childs hearing is normal.
Teaching children with ASD to improve their communication skills is essential for helping them reach their full potential. There are many different approaches, but the best treatment program begins early, during the preschool years, and is tailored to the childs age and interests. It should address both the childs behavior and communication skills and offer regular reinforcement of positive actions. Most children with ASD respond well to highly structured, specialized programs. Parents or primary caregivers, as well as other family members, should be involved in the treatment program so that it becomes part of the childs daily life.
What Are The Signs Of Autism In A 20 Year Old
Signs of autism in adults
- Have difficulties with social interactions.
- Avoid making eye contact.
- Not understand nonverbal facial or body gestures, such as frowning or shrugging.
- Not understand changes in tone of voice, such as sarcasm.
- Be comforted by rules and routine.
- Get upset at changes to routines.
Read Also: Slightly Autistic
What Is The Prognosis For Autism Can It Be Cured
Although, to different degrees of severity, the core features of autism are life-long, predicting the course for an individual with autism is very difficult. Many different variables enter into each person’s experience with autism, including the symptoms and associated behaviors and their severity, the family environment, and the types of interventions used. An individual’s IQ is often a predictor of future functioning, with increasing IQ and communication skills associated with an increased ability to live independently. Some people with autism are able to develop their communication and social skills to a degree that allows them a fair degree of independence. Others can learn some skills but still require ongoing support from their family and others throughout their lives.
There is no cure for autism.
Characteristics Of Autism And Risk For Sexual Abuse
Individuals with autism encounter behavioral, social, and communicative challenges largely because the social world is designed for typical individuals. Although not an issue for all individuals with autism, certain social-emotional and communication challenges, when present, may be interpreted by sexual offenders as vulnerabilities that they can exploit. The current section highlights the increased risk for sexual abuse that might be present for those children with autism who have the specific social-emotional and communication challenges discussed.
It can be even more difficult for individuals with autism to understand the emotions of others when the emotions expressed are deceptive . Dennis, Lockyer, and Lazenby found that high functioning children with autism were less able to identify facial expressions that depicted deceptive emotions and were less able to understand the reasons why someone would display a deceptive facial expression compared with age- and gender-matched control children. Offenders attempt to gain trust from potential victims and often do so by being deceptive. Therefore, they may display deceptive emotions that may not be recognized by some children with autism.
Don’t Miss: Can Aspergers Be Outgrown
Speech And Communication Problems
At Therapeutic Pathways, we use the most recent and research-based findings in speech and language pathology in each childs treatment plan. Our speech, language and communication goals are integrated into our comprehensive Applied Behavior Analysis treatment plan to help children develop the skills they need to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and needs.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Previously Called Autism And Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the following:
- Difficulties in social communication differences, including verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Deficits in social interactions.
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities and sensory problems
Many of those with ASD can have delayed or absence of language development, intellectual disabilities, poor motor coordination and attention weaknesses.
Recommended Reading: How To Explain Body Parts To A Child
Falling Off The ‘services Cliff’
Like Acevedos boys, a growing number of teens and adults are living on the autism spectrum, but Bascom and others say there is far too little research on understanding how autistic people are affected across their lifespan and how to help them live life to the fullest. Most autism research dollars in the United States go toward understanding the biological underpinnings of autism in order to diagnose and treat young children.
Autism research spending in the U.S. totaled more than $364.4 million in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available, with 80 percent of that money coming from federal agencies and 20 percent from private organizations. Of the spending, just 2 percent went toward autism lifespan issues and 5 percent toward services, according to the governments Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. An additional 35 percent went to biology, 24 percent to risk factors, 16 percent to treatment and interventions, 10 percent to infrastructure and surveillance, and 8 percent to screening and diagnosis.
Paul Shattuck, director of the Life Course Outcomes Research Program at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute in Philadelphia, and a member of the scientific council of the Organization for Autism Research, agrees that not enough attention is paid to adults with autism.
Wagner, the national autism coordinator, agrees there needs to be more research on autism across the lifespan and said the government is trying to attract and fund more research in this area.
Autism And Social Communication
Autistic individuals face challenges with a variety of verbal and nonverbal skills. These include grammar, correct use of pronouns, responding, etc.
The characteristics of the disorder depends on the individual, but the majority of individuals with autism have difficulty in social communication.
An autistic person could show a variety of social communication differences. The following are some of the symptoms:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Not responding to verbal communication
- Not using nonverbal gestures to communicate
- Inappropriate use of words in wrong contexts
- Not being able to effectively communicate their ideas
- Repeating the words and phrases they hear
Read Also: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
What Is The Outlook For People With Autism Spectrum Disorder
In many cases, the symptoms of ASD become less pronounced as a child gets older. Parents of children with ASD may need to be flexible and ready to adjust treatment as needed for their child.
People with ASD may go on to live typical lives, but there is often need for continued services and support as they age. The needs depend on the severity of the symptoms. For most, it’s a lifelong condition that may require ongoing supports.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Through research, there has been much that has been learned about autism spectrum disorder over the past 20 years. There is ongoing active research on the causes of ASD, early detection and diagnosis, prevention and treatments.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/29/2020.
What Are The Initial Social Communication Symptoms Difficulties Or Problems In Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autistic children have difficulty and deficits in their speech and communication.
There are three specific deficit areas in terms of social communication where symptoms are seen: joint attention, social reciprocity and social cognition.
The initial social communication symptoms are related to these areas.
– Joint attention – The shared focus of two or more individuals on the same object. Deficits in joint attention include the following:
- Limited recognition and description of anothers emotions, ideas, intentions
- Restricted range of communicative functions
- Lack of desire to seek engagement with others
– Social reciprocity – The back-and-forth interaction between individuals where each persons behavior impacts others. Deficits in social reciprocity include the following:
- Difficulty in initiating interactions
- Issues in responding to interaction attempts by others
- Difficulty in recognizing the breakdowns in communication
- Lack of ability to initiate and maintain conversations
– Social cognition – The mental processes involved in perceiving, attending to, remembering, thinking about, and making sense of the people in our social world . Deficits in social cognition include the following:
- Difficulty in social and emotional learning
- Difficulty in understanding and regulating emotions
- Challenges with recognizing other peoples ideas and emotions
- Difficulty in using interpersonal skills to handle developmentally appropriate tasks .
Don’t Miss: Best Toys For Toddler With Autism
Espanola Native Pens Book About Growing Up With Autism
Blake Priddle, who is originally from Espanola, was a non-verbal child diagnosed with autism. Despite those challenges, he grew up to be a journalist and broadcaster.
Now, Priddle has written a book about his experiences called ‘Good Morning, Blake: Growing up Autistic and Being Okay.’
If you want to know what the title’s all about, youll have to read the book,” he quipped Thursday.
“But after getting my second job in radio in the Pas, I decided to make it happen. I thought, I know how to write, I can put together a nice story, and the hope is to not only share my story, but also inspire others that may have autism or families that have loved ones on the spectrum.”
Priddle said the support not only from his hometown but from strangers has been tremendous.
Back home, I think I inspired a lot of people because I see their comments on social media and I see social media posts from strangers and Amazon reviews and it’s just been unbelievable the amount of support, he said.
From being non-verbal as a child to becoming a news reporter and swing announcer in northern Manitoba, Priddle shares the highs and lows throughout his life in the book.
I talk about how I struggled to communicate as a child and the therapy that I went through that my parents paid for,” he said.
“The struggles that I had in school, as well as the good times and it also talks about my career and how I got into radio.
Medical Testing And Treatments
Routine medical tests are usually performed by traditional pediatricians, but these exams rarely reveal underlying medical problems that are often associated with autism, such as gastrointestinal problems, nutritional and metabolic deficiencies, toxic metal burden, and immune dysfunction. Unfortunately, many physicians believe, though incorrectly, that the only useful medical treatments are psychiatric medications to reduce seizures and behavioral problems.
Genetic testing for Fragile X syndrome can help identify one possible cause, and this testing is typically recommended when there is IDD in the family history.
The Autism Research Institute supports an integrative medical approach to treating individuals on the autism spectrum. This approaches often includes:
- Thorough medical evaluation for undetected underlying disease
- Nutritional support
You May Like: Is Keir Gilchrist On The Spectrum
Autism And Social Interaction
Children with autism may struggle in social situations. Although the characteristics of ASD vary from one person to another, the individual is assessed based on having persistent and significant difficulties with social interaction and social communication to make a diagnosis.
Children with autism may have the following social interaction difficulties :
- seeming distant
- preferring playing alone
- not initiate contact
These social interaction deficits in autism may cause the child to have difficulties in social situations. Their peers may not understand them, causing the autistic child to be outcast.
Behavior And Communication Approaches
According to reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Research Council, behavior and communication approaches that help children with ASD are those that provide structure, direction, and organization for the child in addition to family participation .
Applied Behavior Analysis A notable treatment approach for people with ASD is called applied behavior analysis . ABA has become widely accepted among healthcare professionals and used in many schools and treatment clinics. ABA encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative behaviors to improve a variety of skills. The childs progress is tracked and measured.
There are different types of ABA. Here are some examples:
- Discrete Trial Training DTT is a style of teaching that uses a series of trials to teach each step of a desired behavior or response. Lessons are broken down into their simplest parts, and positive reinforcement is used to reward correct answers and behaviors. Incorrect answers are ignored.
- Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention This is a type of ABA for very young children with ASD, usually younger than 5 and often younger than 3. EIBI uses a highly structured teaching approach to build positive behaviors and reduce unwanted behaviors . EIBI takes place in a one-on-one adult-to-child environment under the supervision of a trained professional.
- Early Start Denver Model
There are other therapies that can be part of a complete treatment program for a child with ASD:
Recommended Reading: Does Autism Affect Life Expectancy
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment that people with ASD can have.
ASD affects people in different ways and can range from mild to severe. People with ASD share some symptoms, such as difficulties with social interaction, but there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, the number of symptoms, and whether other problems are present. The symptoms and their severity can change over time.
The behavioral signs of ASD often appear early in development. Many children show symptoms by 12 months to 18 months of age or earlier.
The Kids Who Beat Autism
- Read in app
At first, everything about L.’s baby boy seemed normal. He met every developmental milestone and delighted in every discovery. But at around 12 months, B. seemed to regress, and by age 2, he had fully retreated into his own world. He no longer made eye contact, no longer seemed to hear, no longer seemed to understand the random words he sometimes spoke. His easygoing manner gave way to tantrums and head-banging. He had been this happy, happy little guy, L. said. All of a sudden, he was just fading away, falling apart. I cant even describe my sadness. It was unbearable. More than anything in the world, L. wanted her warm and exuberant boy back.
A few months later, B. received a diagnosis of autism. His parents were devastated. Soon after, L. attended a conference in Newport, R.I., filled with autism clinicians, researchers and a few desperate parents. At lunch, L. sat across from a woman named Jackie, who recounted the disappearance of her own boy. She said the speech therapist had waved it off, blaming ear infections and predicting that Jackies son, Matthew, would be fine. She was wrong. Within months, Matthew acknowledged no one, not even his parents. The last word he had was Mama, and by the time Jackie met L., even that was gone.
Also Check: Highest Form Of Autism