Hearing that anything is wrong with our children can be difficult and a cause for concern. We worry about their treatment options and their ability to live a normal and healthy life. Autism affects many children and the majority of parents to children with Autism are not aware of the disorder and its implications. Being diagnosed somewhere on the Autism Spectrum does not mean that the child will never live a normal life. It simply means that they require additional resources and conditions to achieve that normal lifestyle.
Special educational programs early
Most parents notice something different about their child from a young age. They may not pinpoint it as being Autistic, but they worry about their development. They may visit multiple physicians with questions, often to be turned away, simply telling them to give their child more time to develop fully. The best treatment for Autism occurs early. If you are a parent who is concerned about the possibility of Autism, ensure that you get a second opinion and that you visit with physicians and professionals who are experienced in the Autism Spectrum.
Once a diagnosis of Autism is achieved, resources should be found. The more resources that you are able to provide to your child on the Autism Spectrum early will make further development and social improvement easier. Resources for Autism children can be found at local autism centers. Some public schools even have professionals on staff that are familiar with children on the Autism Spectrum.
The most common and successful educational program for those on the Autism Spectrum is applied behavior analysis therapy, or ABA. ABA therapists work specifically with children with Autism Spectrum disorders. ABA therapy accounts for 45% of therapies that develop long lasting and observable results, according to the Surgeon General?s Autism treatment report. Some of the ABA programs may be long term, for much of the child?s life, while others might be short term, with the simple goal of teaching them necessary developmental skills.
A typical short term program consists of up to 40 hours per week of intensive one on one teaching on a year round basis for two or more years. Children in short term programs may also attend regular schools, using the ABA program as a supplemental educational option. Children who require more assistance may stay in the ABA program for many years, sometimes throughout their educational years. They may or may not also attend a regular school. However, many professionals believe that exposing them to traditional schooling in addition to their ABA program is a great way to prepare them for the world after schooling.
Programs increase social skills
Many people are surprised to learn that those on the Autism Spectrum do not actually struggle with traditional academic skills. Instead, they struggle with developmental and interpersonal skills. Lack of these skills and characteristics can actually affect their educational and career goals in life, making many believe it is lack of job or educational understanding instead. The fundamental principles of Applied Behavior Analysis are used to develop language, social, academic, and daily living skills in children ages 0 to 18 with Autism and related conditions.
Autism treatment centers also operate on a case by case basis. Children can fall anywhere along the Autism Spectrum, making their needs unique. When a program does not individualize or create a unique program for a child, it is often unsuccessful. One child may require additional resources in social skills, whereas another struggles more with language skills. For this reason, programs that include full time development are ideal over short term or part time programs that may not have the ability to properly address all of the developmental areas.
Learning that your child is on the Autism Spectrum brings up many challenges and questions for a parent. The Autism disorder is a commonly misunderstood disorder. Despite common beliefs, a child who struggles with social delays from Autism can live a relatively normal life. This may require many years and many hours of ABA therapy, but with these additional resources, the child can go to college, get a normal career, and begin their own family too.