When it comes to autism, starting therapy early, that is, during preschool or even before, can help improve the chances of the child’s success. However, it is never too late to commence treatment. It is advisable to start children’s therapy as soon as you suspect autism in your child, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP).
What does children’s therapy entail?
Some of the most proven and popular children’s therapy for autism is as follows:
Play therapy: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not play like other children, and they often focus on one part of a toy rather than the whole. Playing with toys is often a way that children with autism spectrum disorder may express themselves, and so, play therapy becomes a way that they can connect with other children and adults. It can also help improve their emotional and social skills, add to their communication skills, as well as think in different ways.
Occupational therapy: This type of therapy involves the activities of daily living and everyday items. So, it may involve teaching the child how to hold a fork correctly or how to button a shirt properly. It may involve any aspect of school life or even play-time. The focus of this therapy is dependent on the child’s needs. It is important to choose the best children\\\'s psychologist who will be able to narrow down the child’s requirements and work on them.
Speech therapy: Children who have ASD often have a lot of problems communicating both verbally and non-verbally. They often have a lot of trouble interacting socially with other children and people. For this reason, speech therapy often plays a major role in children’s therapy for autism. It helps teach children to speak as about one in three children or adults with autism have difficulty speaking clearly/producing speech sounds. It teaches them how to communicate and interact with other children and adults. Speech therapy is not just relegated to verbal communication. It also involves non-verbal skills such as eye contact, understanding and using gestures, and so on. Speech therapy can help children express themselves through sign language, computers, or picture symbols.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA): This therapy uses the reward system to encourage and reinforce positive behaviours as well as teach new skills. Here, the parents and caregivers of the child are trained so that the child with ASD gets feedback moment-by-moment. Here too, the goals of therapy are basis the needs of the child. As such, they can include social skills, communication skills, school work, personal care, and so on. According to research, children with ASD who receive intensive early ABA therapy make lasting gains.
When it comes to dealing with children’s therapy for autism, it is vital to choose the best children psychologist who will be able to figure out which therapy or therapies are best suited for the child. It may take some experimentation to figure out which options are most beneficial for the child.