Telehealth Autism Treatment Programs
Behavioral therapy utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis as a scientifically proven, evidence-based treatment for those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has been heavily researched and proven to be effective across a number of service delivery models, including telehealth.
With the advances and greater access to video communication technology, its easier than ever before to communicate across great distances at any time of day.
Here at Ascend Autism, we dedicate ourselves to providing the highest quality of care and treatment and making it accessible to all.
Telehealth or telemedicine for autism treatment can shorten waiting lists, overcome geographic issues, and provide more schedule flexibility for families. Parents and children can turn to our telehealth services and receive the same quality of care while accessing therapy remotely.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder is a common term that covers conditions earlier deemed distinct autism, Aspergers syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and an unknown type of omnipresent developmental disorder.
Some individuals still use the word Aspergers syndrome separately which is usually believed to be at the mild end of autism spectrum disorder.
Autism is a neuro-developmental disease in children that have been identified since birth for the first three years. Autism is a disorder of development characterized by different problems such as social interaction, communication, limited & repetitive interests, and behaviors, and sensory sensitivities.
Types Of Support To Help People With Asd
ASD is a lifelong disorder. You cannot change the fact that a person has ASD. But support can significantly improve the ability of that person to be successful in all areas of their life. This support is referred to as intervention.
Intensive intervention and therapy can help a person
- learn new skills
- change some behaviours that interfere with their functioning.
Intervening as early as possible helps most people, so diagnosis in young children is important.
There are many programs and supports available for people diagnosed with ASD. Interventions for ASD can include:
- occupational therapy
- training for parents, families and caregivers
- behavioural therapy, like applied behaviour analysis
- education and school planning in the form of an individual education plan
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What About Alternative Remedies
There are countless alternative options that people try. However, there isnt much conclusive research backing up these methods, and its unclear whether theyre effective. Some of them, such as chelation therapy, may also do more harm than good.
Still, autism is a wide-ranging condition that causes a variety of symptoms. Just because something doesnt work for one person doesnt mean it wont help another. Work closely with a doctor when looking into alternative options. A good doctor can help you navigate the research surrounding these options and avoid potentially risky methods that arent backed by science.
Potential alternative options requiring more conclusive research include:
- gluten-free, casein-free diet
Focus On Getting Good Sleep
A proper nights sleep with enough time in the rapid eye movement stage can be the difference between a good day and one youd rather forget.
This isnt as simple as it sounds, if youre among the 79% of autistic people who experience disrupted sleep.
Sleep is important enough to be a priority. Sleep improvement strategies to try include:
- keeping a consistent sleep routine
- having an earlier cut off time for screens
- exercising during the day
- avoiding caffeine past noon
- having calming sensory input, like a weighted blanket
If none of these strategies work, your doctor might be able to recommend an appropriate dose for a sleep aid, like melatonin.
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Autism Therapies Worth Paying For
Your child is receiving therapies through school and/or health insurance, but you feel she’s not progressing at a reasonable rate. Or, you’ve watched the school therapists at work and feel that their approach is not right for your child. You may have even asked the school for specific therapies and they haven’t been helpful in providing outside resources.
If any or all of these issues sound familiar, you may want to consider paying out-of-pocket for therapies that can be helpful depending on your child’s interests and learning style.
Autism As A Social And Emotional Disorder
Autism was first characterized as a social and emotional disorder in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist in the United States. In a paper published in the journal Nervous Child titled Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, Kanner describes a distinct syndrome characterized by children who are highly intelligent but have tendencies towards social withdrawal with emotional limitations.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in Germany, Hans Asperger was defining a different form of autism. Asperger published his autism psychopathology article in 1944, describing autism as a disorder of normal intelligence children who have difficulties with social and communication skills. Later thought of as a milder form of autism and now commonly known as Aspergers disorder, children with Aspergers tend to suffer similar challenges with social interactions but do not have the same language development challenges often found in Kanners disorder.
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Tip : Find Help And Support
Caring for a child with ASD can demand a lot of energy and time. There may be days when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or discouraged. Parenting isnt ever easy, and raising a child with special needs is even more challenging. In order to be the best parent you can be, its essential that you take care of yourself.
Dont try to do everything on your own. You dont have to! There are many places that families of children with ASD can turn to for advice, a helping hand, advocacy, and support:
ADS support groups Joining an ASD support group is a great way to meet other families dealing with the same challenges you are. Parents can share information, get advice, and lean on each other for emotional support. Just being around others in the same boat and sharing their experience can go a long way toward reducing the isolation many parents feel after receiving a childs diagnosis.
Respite care Every parent needs a break now and again. And for parents coping with the added stress of ASD, this is especially true. In respite care, another caregiver takes over temporarily, giving you a break for a few hours, days, or even weeks.
Affordable Online Therapy for Help and Support
Get professional help from BetterHelps network of licensed therapists.
Lc Health Sciences Students Expand Clinical Training Raise Awareness About Autismyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
Through this partnership, Laredo College health sciences students learn how to develop and apply safe patient assessment techniques for interaction with patients diagnosed with autism. This serves as a hands-on learning experience for LC students and an opportunity for children in the autism spectrum to interact with healthcare practitioners and learn about their services.
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Cbd Oil And Autism: Can It Help
Some people decide to choose natural products over pharmaceuticals because of their growing availability and higher safety profile. CBD is known for helping with the following symptoms:
Research on the potential use of CBD for autism is in its infancy as of this writing, but what we have learned so far is very optimistic. For example, an anecdotal study published in the Neurology Journal has found that applying CBD sublingually to autistic patients resulted in the improvement of behavioral problems in 61% of the participants. Communication problems, as well as anxiety levels, dropped by 39% and 47% respectively. The study included 120 participants.
The exact causes of the major symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, such as aggressive and repetitive behavior, social communication difficulties, and sensory dysfunction, are still unknown to scientists. However, CBD has been shown to relieve other symptoms linked to autism, including ADHD, anxiety, and sleep problems.
While CBD may not be the cure for autism autism doesnt require curing directly, by the way but it may help patients manage the troubling symptoms that negatively affect the way they function on a daily basis.
What Is Aspergers Syndrome
Aspergers and autism can mean many different things depending on the person. Generally speaking, the kind of mild autism that used to be called Aspergers affects communication and behavior. People with mild autism often have difficulty with social interactions because it is hard for them to communicate with other people.
Though people with Aspergers may find conversations to be hard or frustrating, they generally have average to high intelligence and strong verbal skills. They tend to engage in repetitive behavior and may have trouble understanding complicated feelings, gestures, or sarcasm.
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Diagnosis For Aspergers Syndrome
There is no one test for autism. All children are screened for autism at their 18-month and 24-month checkups. The screening will generally include:
- Asking about a childs behavior and developmental milestones
- Observing the child to see how they interact with those around them and their environment
- Asking the child to perform tasks that test their thinking skills and decision-making ability
In addition, a childs pediatrician may perform tests to rule out other issues that may cause autism-like symptoms, including:
- Blood tests to check for lead poisoning
- Hearing tests to rule out hearing loss
- Genetic tests to rule out disorders such as Fragile X and Rett Syndrome
Types Of Autism Treatment Available
When it comes to early autism treatment options, there are a dizzying variety of therapies and approaches. Some autism therapies focus on reducing problematic behaviors and building communication and social skills, while others deal with sensory integration problems, motor skills, emotional issues, and food sensitivities.
With so many choices, it is extremely important to do your research, talk to autism treatment experts, and ask questions. But keep in mind that you dont have to choose just one type of therapy. The goal of autism treatment should be to treat your childs unique array of symptoms and needs. This often requires a combined treatment approach that incorporates several different types of therapy.
Common autism treatments include behavior therapy, speech-language therapy, play-based therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional therapy. But keep in mind that the routine is important and the program should be designed in a way that can be sustained. You should think about what skills and behaviors are most essential and treat those first. It may not be possible to tackle everything at once.
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Autism Spectrum Disorder And Current Treatment Practices
The reconceptualization of autism changed the landscape of autism treatment in two important ways. First, the idea that autism is present from birth and thus in part a biological condition paved the way for psychopharmacological interventions, and second, autism is a social and emotional disorder distinct from other mental illnesses and should be treated as such.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that autism spectrum disorders occur in approximately 1 out of every 68 children, and is more prevalent in boys than girls. Although the most obvious symptoms of autism typically appear between 2 and 3 years of age, autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months in children. Unfortunately, however, the majority of children are not diagnosed until age four.
Early diagnosis and intervention for children with autism is critical and greatly improves outcomes of the disorder. The CDC recommends regular screenings of young children for signs of autism and parents are encouraged to monitor early signs and symptoms and bring any concerns to the attention of the pediatrician.
Medicines For Treating Autism’s Core Symptoms
Please use independent judgment and request references when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism or its associated medical conditions. The following information is solely for educational purposes, not medical advice. It is not a substitute for care by trained medical providers. Autism Speaks is not engaged in the practice of health care or the provision of health care advice or services. For specific advice about care and treatment, please consult your physician.
Medicines for treating autism are most effective when used in conjunction with behavioral therapies. Ideally, medicines are a complement to other treatment strategies.
Medicines for treating the three core symptoms of autism communication difficulties, social challenges and repetitive behavior have long represented a huge area of unmet need. Unfortunately, few drugs on the market today effectively relieve these symptoms and none of the options most often prescribed by practitioners work well for every individual.
In fact, while the Food and Drug Administration has approved two drugs for treating irritability associated with the autism , it has yet to approve a medicine for treating autisms three core characteristics. Nonetheless, medicines such as risperidone and aripiprazole can be beneficial in ways that can ease these core symptoms, because relieving irritability often improves sociability while reducing tantrums, aggressive outbursts and self-injurious behaviors.
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What Is Biomedical Treatment
Biomedical treatment consists of a wide range of alternative treatments for autistic children. Many of these autism treatments target digestive, neurological and sensory systems in hopes of relieving or completely curing the symptoms of autism. However, it should be mentioned that results are widely inconclusive, though many have claimed to see some changes from these methods. Some popular biomedical treatments in San Diego, CA include stem cell therapy and a change in diet.
Before you seek alternative or biomedical treatment, be sure to consult your childs physician and do research on any treatment option you see. Currently, the consensus is that autisms core symptoms, social impairment, communication difficulties and learning and behavioral problems cant be cured. However, they can be addressed by speech and occupational therapy to help children function better with others.
Dont Wait For A Diagnosis
As the parent of a child with ASD or related developmental delays, the best thing you can do is to start treatment right away. Seek help as soon as you suspect somethings wrong. Dont wait to see if your child will catch up later or outgrow the problem. Dont even wait for an official diagnosis. The earlier children with autism spectrum disorder get help, the greater their chance of treatment success. Early intervention is the most effective way to speed up your childs development and reduce the symptoms of autism over the lifespan.
When your child has autism
Learn about autism. The more you know about autism spectrum disorder, the better equipped youll be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions.
Become an expert on your child. Figure out what triggers your kids challenging or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful or frightening? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, youll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing or modifying situations that cause difficulties.
Dont give up. Its impossible to predict the course of autism spectrum disorder. Dont jump to conclusions about what life is going to be like for your child. Like everyone else, people with autism have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities.
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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:
Natural Supplements For Autism
1. Fish Oil
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, specifically the EPA/DHA in fish oil, is critical for brain function and is highly anti-inflammatory. Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil is one of the most commonly used complementary and alternative practices in children with autism spectrum disorder. Study results have been mixed but some have demonstrated marked improvement in autism symptoms.
2. Digestive enzymes
Since children with autism tend to have digestive problems and may also have leaky gut, digestive enzymes can help with absorption of vitamins and minerals. According to Autism Canada, digestive enzymes can improve digestion and reduce inflammation, which is very helpful since impairments in digestion and absorption contribute to the childs impaired nutritional status, which can in turn contribute to and further impair immunity, detoxification and brain function.
3. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D deficiency is more common in children with autism compared to children without autism. This is a key vitamin required for healthy brain function. A vitamin D deficiency in a pregnant mother may also increase autism risk in her offspring.
One study even showed that autism rates are highest among babies conceived in winter months and, furthermore, that the season of conception accounts for 11.4 percent of cases of autism, intellectual disability and learning difficulties. This was a record-linkage study of 801,592 children in Scotland.
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