If you have a child with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or indeed you suspect that your child might be on the spectrum, you will already be aware that they will requireextra support to meet their needs. While all children on the spectrum are different, there are a variety of therapies that can help to reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life and daily functioning.
According to the CDC, as ASD affects everyone differently, each child’s care plan should be tailored to their individual needs. Some children have more challenging needs than others, and therapies that work for one child might not necessarily be effective for another. Below are some of the therapies that work for individuals with autism.
Language and communication are often two big challenges for kids on the spectrum. Speech therapy can help with communication. While some children with ASD do not speak at all, others have trouble making clear speech sounds. Then there are those who can talk but who cannot understand facial expressions and body language, which makes it difficult for them to hold conversations. Speech therapy may be required to help strengthen muscles in the neck, jaw, and mouth or to teach children how to understand facial expressions and body language.
You may have noticed that your child does not play with toys in the way that other children do. He or she might not play with a toy tractor in the way that you would expect and instead spends their time spinning the wheels rather than moving the tractor on the ground. Children with ASD often play alone rather than joining in with other kids. Play therapy is a terrific way to engage children with ASD as it helps them to learn social skills. Play therapists will often get down on the floor to play with the child by joining in with what he or she is doing, before adding something else to the game. The aim is to get the child to engage in a back-and-forth manner.
The folk at Maloca Sound say that music therapy is another fantastic way to help kids with ASD. Sessions are typically one to one or in small groups so that the therapist can tailor sessions to the needs of each child. Music therapy can help children to listen, which improves their concentration levels. It also gives them a way of expressing themselves and encourages them to play spontaneously. When provided in group sessions, music therapy can help children to develop relationships.
Occupational therapy is designed to help kids with ASD improve their daily functioning. It can be used to focus on aspects of home life, school, or play, depending on the needs of the child. Therapists will create a plan that will be tailored to the child, and it might include helping them to move to new activities, develop play skills, improve stamina or attention span, or help with behavioral issues such as aggression.
Children with ASD often have complex needs. Speech and developmental delays are common and extra support is therefore required. Thankfully, there are many different therapies that have been designed to help children with ASD. The aim of these therapies is to improve quality of life and daily functioning and can include things like occupational therapy, speech therapy, and play therapy.
For children with ASD, early intervention is recommended because it will improve their abilities and reduce the severity of any symptoms they have. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that it is never too late to start treatment.