Autism Treatment, Medication And Support

By Alley Benton
Updated December 12, 2016
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Autism Treatment, Medication And SupportEvery case of autism is different and unique. Because of this, there isn't a one size fits all autism treatment, medication, and support that works for everybody. In general terms, however, treatment includes behavioral therapy, medication, or both. Additionally, it is common for autistic people to also have other medical conditions. Usually, when these are treated, the level of signs and symptoms they experience because of their autism also becomes less.

Understanding Autism Treatment, Medication, and Support:

In almost all cases, behavioral therapy is offered to children with autism, but also to their families. This is delivered both inside the home and inside medical therapy settings, or other settings such as preschools and classrooms.

Usually, as the children develop, different types of autism treatment, medication, and support are required. For instance, once they start to go to school, they may need training in their social skills. Once they reach adolescence, they may need more assistance to transition into independence and into general adulthood.

Current Intervention Therapies:

There have been a number of scientific studies that have proven two types of early interventions are beneficial for those with autism:

1. The Early Start Denver Model

2. The Lovaas Model, which uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Other therapies that some people have found beneficial include Pivotal Response Therapy, Floortime, and Verbal Behavior Therapy.

Autism Treatment for the Very Young:

Toddler and preschool autistic children are served by having intensive behavioral intervention therapy from a young age, as this has been scientifically proven. This enables them to develop social skills, communication, and cognitive functions. The outcomes vary, but this intervention is always beneficial. While different programs exist, they all follow a certain key rules:

1. Structured therapy should be offered for 25 hours per week or more.

2. The intervention should be delivered by specifically trained therapists.

3. The therapy must follow specific learning objectives and progress should be closely monitored.

4. The therapy should address the core elements that the autistic child has difficulties with. This could be motor skills, daily living, play skills, imitation, communication, language, social skills, and so on.

5. The child should, as part of therapy, interact with typically developing children.

6. Parents should be actively involved in the program, both in terms of development and delivery.

7. The therapist should fully respect the unique perspectives, values, and needs of the child and the family.

8. There should be multidisciplinary involvement as required.

Can Autism Be Cured?

Autism isn't a disease and, as such, there is no cure. However, it is possible for those who only just touch on the spectrum to no longer meet the criteria later in life after intensive therapy. That said, it is possible that there was an initial misdiagnosis as well, particularly since all children develop at their own pace. In many cases where children are diagnosed with autism and then no longer meet the requirements, they become diagnosed with a different disorder later on, most notably Asperger Syndrome or other types of high-functioning forms of autism, anxiety disorders, or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

While there is no cure for autism, it is clear that improvement in symptoms can be found with intensive therapy. Exactly how much improvement, however, depends on the type of therapy, the skills of the therapist, the level of autism of the patient, the involvement of the patient and their family, the environment, and a wealth of other factors.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.