Tag Archives: #autismtips

Heathy Diet

Autism Healthy Eating: Feeding Your Child Right

Autism has become quite a news sensation nowadays, with significantly higher statistics supporting its rise today than in recent years. A pervasive developmental disorder, Autism highly affects the brain and developmental skills of a child’s first few years of life. From difficulties in verbal to social, emotional, physical and intellectual functions, the impact of autism lies in wide-ranging spectrum with overlapping symptoms making each case unique and distinctive than others. One of the prevalent issues, however, in children with autism is their high selectivity for food (or picky eating).

Autism is all over the news these days, with significantly more children being diagnosed with this condition today than in recent generations. Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects the brain, develops within a child’s first few years of life and affects verbal, social, emotional, physical and intellectual functioning. The causes of autism are not fully understood, and its severity and responsiveness to various treatments vary widely from child to child. Some autism experts believe a healthy diet might help children with autism function more successfully.

Tips to Healthy Eating

Before engaging in any special diet meant for children with ASD, it is imperative that you consult with your child’s physician to ensure that underlying gastric disorders are addressed. Be reminded that in addition to their behavioral and neurological symptoms, children with autism often suffer from digestive and allergy issues. The help of a registered physician or dietitian with experience in treating autism can be of great help to ensure that the food they take will not trigger symptoms, as well as proper nutrition and caloric intake are provided for.

When it comes to food choices, organic and unprocessed foods are ideal choices. Packaged and/or processed foods provide minimal nutrition and inadequate caloric content that will hinder weight development among children. Building a child-with-autism’s diet around these fresh and healthy foods ensure zero nutritional deficiencies and other prevalent digestive risks.

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diet is considered one of the special diets that can help “treat” autism. This diet, though not scientifically proven, has been going on for quite some time. Parents to children with autism have continually backed the efficiency of this claim that it can help manage, if not minimize the symptoms. Some diets that are also free of allergens as well as yeast can be helpful.

The use of supplements and vitamins is also an important key in ensuring adequate nutritional intake of your child. Supplements like probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6 and C, are just some of the typically recommended ones. Keep in mind that diets like CFGF Diet can make kids lose out on some of the necessary vitamins and minerals prohibited on its food list. To guarantee that necessary nutrition is in your child’s system, the addition of these supplements can be added BUT with the approval of your child’s physician, of course.

All in all, this complex developmental disability called Autism Spectrum Disorders may not be curable but can be managed and controlled with proper intervention and healthy dietary factors. When done with the guidance of an Autism-accredited physician or dietitian, keeping your child’s symptoms under control while maintaining his healthy physique can be attained.


First Day High: 10 Helpful Tips To Prepare Your Child With Autism For School

With the school opening looming up ahead, the idea of transitioning your child with autism can prove to be daunting. Starting school can be a difficult time even for normal kids, more so with a child who has limited cognitive, social, and other developmental skills. Like normal kids, children on the spectrum also feel the same excitement and anxiety. This change can be difficult for them— the scenery, the people, their responsibility as students, co-existing with others, and so on. This often leads to sudden (and somehow negative) changes in behavior.

By now, you must have already looked into a number of schools in your area and have found the right one for your child. To gear your child for the so-called “first day high,” try looking into these helpful tips and see if any of these can work with his or her level of ASD.

1. Try creating a social story to go along with the preparation. Pictures and video presentation prove to be effective channels to show them what school is like, how to go with the usual morning/afternoon routine, and other school activities.

2. Create creatively the list of daily activities he or she will have to take from waking up to brushing, walking/riding to school, entering the classroom, and so on.  If possible, try to ask the school administration if it is okay for you and your child to look around.

3. Prepare a calendar complete with pictures. Indicate lunch with the picture of the school cafeteria or toilet time with the comfort room or playtime with a picture of the school playground with children playing.

4. Before school officially starts, ask if it is okay for your child to meet his or her new teacher. Let the teacher and the school’s guidance counselor know about certain “obsessions” that your child may have. Often, visiting school ahead of time and meeting the people he or she will encounter head-on can ease their way into transition.

5. Communicate, communicate. Whatever your child’s ASD level, it is imperative that you ask about what he or she feels. Engage him or her in the whole process. His or her feelings should come first and foremost on this journey. Make him or her feel secured and assured, that school is a safe haven. Instill happy thoughts in meeting new friends. He or she may be socially challenged, but this does not negate the thought of feeling the same level of excitement in meeting new acquaintances.

6. Reassure your child that school is his or her second home. While “Mommy” or “Daddy” help resolves problems for him at home, he or she now has an extra set of helping hands with “teacher” (be specific with the name of the teacher to make him familiar) around.

7. Try to check if there are kids in the neighborhood who will be going on the same classes with your child. Sometimes, letting them connect to others before school starts can greatly eliminate unforeseen circumstances during transition.

8. Make sure to find out what after-school activities can your child join. Some sports activities are excellent activities for children with ASDs.

9. Include your child’s therapist on this process. It is imperative that you are fully guided on every endeavor you pursue to ensure zero meltdown.

10. Be extra attentive. Some kids on the spectrum have a hard time coping with these sudden changes. Make sure to prioritize your child’s welfare before anything else.

Each child with Autism Spectrum Disorder has a different way of dealing with changes in their environment. These tips may prove to be effective to others but, in everything else, you alone know what works best for him or her.


How to Become Your Own Child’s Autism Advocate

How to Become Your Own Child’s Autism Advocate

Autism numbers are rising. As several disorders on the spectrum are grouped collectively to fall under a single diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, the number of children and adults alike are also rising. Nonetheless, it remains a complex neurological disorder with equally complex diagnosis, causes, and therapies or treatments. The feeling of being a parent to one with ASD, however, remains the same. Overwhelmed, frightened, confused? These feelings are nothing new. It is normal to have apprehensions and more questions than answers.

Your child, however, needs you now more than ever—and the best way to help him or her is to widen your knowledge about autism and its eventual effect on your child.

So, what to do to become your own child’s autism advocate? Here are some ways how:

Enroll in Parenting Classes

Look up your local yellow pages for a nearby autism institute and research center. These institutions always provide parent- education classes, seminars, and symposium catered specifically for parents whose son or daughter is diagnosed with ASD. Some classes regularly meet on a weekly or twice-a-week basis for several weeks or months to teach you how to set realistic and doable short- and long-term goals. It has a set of curriculum to follow that allows parents to learn practical skills, techniques and strategies on how to go-about your child’s disorder and improve his/her skills. Some research centers also tackle collaborative initiatives with educators and professionals in a way of developing tactics for school and home.

Attend Community Outreach Programs

Another low-cost option in learning about autism and is by joining community-based training. Most programs initiated in communities are sponsored by experts in the field of autism. These programs usually follow the same core curriculum as that of institute-based classes. In some, groups engaging in open discussion and usually facilitated by parents to autism children provide lectures on ASD tapping awareness, life skills, social skills, and other specific aspects of autism. This parents’ forum are often considered the very tie that binds autism communities across regions providing valuable knowledge and support to families with members on the spectrum.

Online Tool Kits

The internet continually proves to be an indispensable part of raising autism awareness and in providing support to families dealing with ASD across nations. Free online tool kits are available for families in various websites. These kits usually provide important and relevant information on the disorder, treatment options, coping strategies and techniques, and goal-setting. Some websites, like Living Autism Now (www.livingautismnow.com), provides a portal that connects families to the best professional help and services in their localities. It also provides ample information and links to resources as well as a space dedicated to answering questions and for sharing experiences with others.

School-Based Programs

Primarily targeted to parents with school-age children, this program type usually deals on how parents and teachers can best met the educational needs of children with autism. The program usually consists of lectures, forums, seminars, open-discussion groups, and one-on-one engagement initiatives. Each school has its set of curriculum to follow, and to best gauge which will work best with your child is to check with its special education teacher or its guidance counselor.

Faith-Based Programs

Some religious communities have also set-up its own outreach program to aid in the growing need for autism awareness and acceptance. If you belong to a certain religious congregation, try checking with the local parish priest, catechists or lay ministers for any open discussion groups or counseling care. These programs often tap on providing families with emotional and spiritual support.

There are many resources available nowadays for you to choose from. As parents, we only want what is best for our children. Each autism case is unique. Finding one that will best suit your child and your expectations solely depend on your choices.


Obesity and Autism

Obesity and Autism | Photo: www.abc.net.auObesity has become a prevalent condition among children nowadays. In the same way, the sudden rise of autism has also been recorded at 1 in 68 children by the CDC.

More research suggests that obesity in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has also been rising over the years, and has been noted as high as that of developing children. This statistical data is quite staggering. Children with ASD are not only exposed to the same risk factors as that of typical developing children, they are also more susceptible and vulnerable to more adverse effects such as genetic issues, sleeping and eating disorders, physiological challenges, and so on. For all individuals with ASD, obesity poses a huge threat to their overall health and quality of life.

Likely Causes of Obesity to ASD

Three of the likely causes of obesity among children with ASD are genetics, delayed/impaired motor skills development, and psychopharmacological after-effects. Obesity in children with autism is biological in nature. Children with ASD born to parents with obese patterns are more susceptible to such growing up. Genetic determinants, however, are not specifically and fully identified.

The use of psychotropic medications is quite common among individuals with ASD, particularly to those who have severe symptoms. Medications such as stimulants, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics are usually prescribed to individuals with Autism as well as to those with behavioral and developmental needs. Some 35% to 65% are prescribed with one of these medications while, approximately 10% are prescribed with more than 3 medications. These medications are often used not as a cure but as a means to control and manage the symptoms. Though known to be effective, these medications can result in weight gain as they increase appetite and lessen physical activity. In addition, metabolic syndrome such as raised blood pressure, insulin resistance or glucose intolerance, abdominal obesity, and many more are also noted to be caused by these medications among children with Autism.

Delayed or impaired motor development usually limits the physical activity among children with autism. Most kids with severe autism have sedentary behavior due to low muscle tone, postural instability, and motor-skills impairment. These conditions often lead to involvement in physical activities difficult as these children struggle for balance, endurance, and motor planning.

Other Risk Factors

Autism with obesity are known to be associated with other risk factors such as sleep issues, and picky eating. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is quite common among children with ASD. Sleep issues usually affect appetite and metabolic functions leading to weight gain. Children with ASD are also known to be highly selective eaters and have the tendency to be indisposed to specific smells, colors, textures, temperatures, and so on. This “picky” eating routine leaves children to choose unhealthy foods and/or energy-dense foods which are often “more attractive” and much tastier than organic/fresh foods.

The Role of the Family

Most issues concerning dietary, sleep patterns, and physical activity are usually affected by family dynamics. Mealtime routines, feeding styles, and other parental practices relating to food and activities at home directly impact obesity clauses among children with ASD. By developing a healthy family environment and proper dietary management while infusing effective intervention, obesity among children with ASD can be prevented.


Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is a wide spectrum of disorders that overlap among each other yet, has distinct characteristics making each case unique even among siblings. Collectively, they are called Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Any of these disorders can affect both children and adults. Currently, it has NO known cures. They are also genetic in nature. According to recent data from CDC, this developmental disorder affects 1 out of every 68 children in the US alone. Though it is known to affect more boys than girls, grouping together a child’s symptoms can be tough. To understand ASD better, here are some basic markers to consider:

Autistic Disorder

Simply referred to as “autism,” it is also recently being described as “mind-blindness” or the lack of Theory of Mind creating major barriers in communication and socialization. This collection of neurological and developmental disorders is usually diagnosed in the first 3 years of life. A child with autistic disorder engages in repetitive behaviors, appears to have a world of his own, shows little or no interest in others, and has obvious lack of social awareness. A child with autism is often focused on consistent routine with interest transfixed in repetitively odd or peculiar behavior. Almost always, children with autism have communication issues, avoid direct eye contact, and manifests limited attachment to others.

Regressive Autism Spectrum Disorder

Regressive ASD is sometimes referred to as autistic regression or autism with regression, or acquired autistic syndrome and setback-type autism. It usually occurs when a seemingly normal child starts to lose speech and social skills from 15-30 months of age. Amid researches and studies done over the years, however, there is still no definite distinction between autism with- and without regression. Some believe that this type of autism is just an early-onset autism diagnosed at a later date. Some features early delays while others are diagnosed after later losses. This is believed to affect approximately 20-30% of children in the spectrum.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Called PDD-NOS or atypical personality development, this type of autism refers to the “sub-threshold” condition wherein some, but not all, features of ASD or other explicitly identified PDD are identified in a child. PDD-NOS is a diagnosis which covers cases marking impairment of communication, social interaction, stereotyped behavioral patterns and interest—but does not include autism’s full features or explicitly defined pervasive personality disorder/PDD. Take note that most of those in PDD-NOS have less impaired social skills than those in “classical” autism.

Asperger’s Syndrome

Also known simply as Asperger’s or Asperger Disorder, this ASD is usually diagnosed between the ages 2-6. A child with Asperger’s manifests good verbal skills and good cognitive skills but is rather clumsy, socially awkward, and often engages in odd, repetitive behaviors and interests. This is named after Austrian pediatrician, Hans Asperger, who conducted a study on a group of children in 1944.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Known as Heller’s syndrome or disintegrative psychosis, this type of ASD is very rare. Children with seemingly normal development suddenly lose motor, social, and language skills around the ages 2 to 4. This severe regression usually presents a dramatic loss of skills and can develop later than autism does.

Rett Syndrome

Coined after Dr. Andreas Rett’s study, Rett’s Syndrome or Rett’s Disorder is a condition that used to be called cerebroatrophic hyperammonemia. This is an extreme form of ASD characterized by zero verbal skills with 50% not being able to walk. Most of those who have Rett’s have small hands and feet, with notable deceleration of head growth, repetitive stereotypical hand movements, and some 80% experience seizures. Scoliosis, growth failure, and other gastrointestinal disorders are also common for children with Rett’s Syndrome. Almost all of the cases reported under this spectrum occur in girls, but studies reveal that this can also affect boys.

As more and more research is being conducted on Autism Spectrum Disorders, we can only surmise that more type of autism will come out soon. Geneticists recently pointed out that the right term to be used is “autisms”(plural) rather than “autism” due to the variety of genetic forms the developmental disorder represents.

When diagnosing Autism, parents should seek professional diagnoses from specially trained professional, including pediatricians, psychologists, and others. List can be found at http://livingautismnow.com/directory/ for Canada, http://www.autism.org.uk/directory.aspx for the UK, and http://www.autism-society.org/ for the US.

Pamela Bryson-Weaver is the author of Living Autism Day by Day: Daily Reflections and Strategies to Give You Hope and Courage, a #1 bestseller on amazon.com. A staunch advocate for autism, she is also the mind behind the powerful website—www.livingautismnow.com—an online portal for parents, caregivers, individuals with ASD, service providers, and experts to interact with each other, to raise awareness, and locate the best possible services for them. Bryson-Weaver is uniquely qualified to speak on autism as she is the past president of the Autism Society in New Brunswick, and has promoted a resolution on autism that was presented locally, provincially and nationally, and was passed nationally in Canada 2004. To date, all children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in her province receive S20k per year for treatment. Married with 3 children, the main driving force in this advocacy is her youngest son, John, who has autism.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Yale School of Medicine

Living Autism Day-by-day Pamela Bryson-Weaver

How to Manage Autism Meltdowns

There is no boring day to parents with autism kids. The worst days, however, are those that involve a meltdown. Now, that’s what you call a nightmare! One moment your child is perfectly settled on his routine and the next minute, he turns into a Godzilla with no one to block his path. The scary part is that, you have no idea what upsets him or what triggered the reaction.

Not to be confused for temper tantrums, meltdowns can easily turn from bad to worse when parents do not know what to do or how to deal with it. This could be tough to a first-time parent. Thus, equipping oneself with the necessary preparation for that eventual meltdown will help prevent unnecessary circumstances inimical to the welfare of the child and the people surrounding him.

Dissecting Likely Causes

Not to be mistaken for a temper tantrum, children with autism when facing a meltdown can be much tougher to handle. One of most likely causes is sensory, information, and emotional overload. Take note of the word: OVERLOAD. Kids with ASD can only take so much and all things in excess can push their panic button. This overly sensitive characteristics usually trigger their brain to be overwhelmed resulting in panic.  Another common cause is sudden changes. Living in the spectrum often makes children live a life filled with routines. They love basking in a life that is filled with predictability. Sudden changes in their environment or in their expectations can easily jolt and tear them apart. Some parents also mentioned that fatigue is another likely cause in some children’s meltdown. As the brain cannot process fatigue or its consequences, this can be intensely frustrating leading to turmoil deep in their core.

Preventing and Managing Meltdowns

As meltdowns can come and go freely to any child with autism, it is imperative for parents to proactively learn how to handle and manage such before it even manifests in actuality. You can discuss management techniques with your paediatrician, caregiver, SpEd teacher, or counselor to give you handy information on how to best approach when this occurs. Be sensitive to their needs. Many said that parents to kids with autism need special powers to know when and what causes a meltdown. Paying special attention to your child won’t hurt. Keeping a timetable and be always on the close guard on what makes them comfortable/uncomfortable to prevent frustration leading to panic.

It is also important to set boundaries with your child. In the same way as toddlers, children living on the spectrum often have meltdowns because they can’t have their own way. If you believe the answer is a “no”, be firm and stand by it. You can choose to ignore it, redirect him to another activity, or infuse discipline by way of simple “punishments” like timeouts or withholding of special treats. Most kids living on the spectrum have high intelligence level. They do understand more than you expect them to be.

Some children, however, are prone to hurting themselves or those around them. Learn the proper way to restrain them and make sure to eliminate possible hazards in your home. You might be surprised how strong or violent these little kids can be up until you have a blackened eye or a bruised leg. For their safety and yours, learn how to address possible hazards ahead of time.

Featured Family - Living Autism Day-by-day Pamela Bryson-Weaver

Each New Day Brings A Day of Opportunity, Hope and a Fresh Start.

Some days living with Autism can be challenging and draining but I can say each new day brings a day of opportunity, hope and a fresh start.

Ben is so special, and so very unique, he LOVES everyone! He hugs almost everyone he sees and meets and is smiling most of the time.  Ben struggles with everyday tasks but exceeds with others.  Show him something once and generally he has it…he can work most electronics better than me J

A little bit about Ben and his past…After many years of trying and going to doctor after doctor to have a child we decided to leave it in God’s hands and pray that he would answer our prayers, and he did! Not in the way we were thinking but, he answered them by adoption.  He was born early and weighing in at a small bundle of joy of 4lbs, he had some health issues in his early part of life but was and remains perfect in our sight.   He was diagnosed with GERD (acid reflex disease) and still to this day is being treated for it,he is now 3 ½ years old and was diagnosed at 3 months.  As Ben grew and was getting older we noticed that he was not developing like the other children we knew that was near his age.  And we continued to bring this up at each and every doctor apt.  We as parents are our children’s BIGGEST advocates; we are their words, and actions!

His speech is coming along beautiful now but it wasn’t always that great, I prayed for the day I would here “wuv u mommy”, happy to say I hear this daily, most times  its with coaching but regardless I hear it, we are constantly working and  coaching, with speech we are on to two words sentences now..YAY!

WE as a family have learned to do what works; we do what works for us.  If you walk into our house you will see many toy balls, all different colors and sizes, lots of things that play music or some sort of sound, cause these are things that he LOVES, and are used for rewards, our house is a home lots of finger prints on the walls/windows.

Even though some days or moments in our days can be challenging we are learning what works.  For example we know slowing Ben down using some technique’s picking our battles not to worry so much about e single detail is a help.  For example I use to be so stressed if Ben didn’t look in a camera lens when he was smaller but you know what that is not that big of deal, since I stopped stressing over this I have been able to capture some amazing pictures!

For the past year my husband has been battling cancer but still going strong, with this we have learned to slow life down and cherish each and every minute I have recently learned that as Ben grows, we grow with him learning to live with autism that life is really truly unique and can be wonderful.

I have learned to breathe and not sweat the small stuff so much.  And to make everything a celebration.   You should see the party we have when he goes potty!

I know living with autism can be challenging one of our biggest challenges right now is how Ben can be so impulsive, but living with autism can be so rewarding too.

Its important to stay strong and stay focused, they are worth it.  And after all they are our babies.


GFCF Diet food list

GFCF Diet: Foods to Eat and Avoid

Following a gluten-free, casein-free diet is one of the most popular methods among parents to children with autism. Though research remains inconclusive, a number of parents have show great support in vouching the effectiveness of the said diets. Not only does this diet treat children-with-autism’s gastrointestinal and allergy issues, it has also been known to result in lower meltdowns, hyperactivity, allergies and skin rashes, and seizures.

The GFCF Diet requires two basic protein eliminations – dairy and wheat—from a child with autism’s diet. This can be somewhat complicated as proteins are essential nutrients needed for children’s development. To some children with autism, however, these two groups of protein can make matters worse. To get you started on your GFCF Diet, here are some food lists to aid in your menu preparation.

What to Buy

  • Milk substitutes like rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk, and almond milk. Be attentive to the label though. It should not only state “dairy-free” but “casein-free.” Some dairy-free milk substitutes contain the casein protein as a thickener.
  • Soy-based dairy-free cheese products; make sure it’s casein-free
  • gluten-free bread usually made from tapioca or rice flour
  • minimally processed or, if possible, fresh meat out of the butcher’s den; if prepackaged, make sure to check label for the list of ingredients.
  • fresh poultry
  • fresh seafoods
  • fresh fruit and vegetables; if frozen, make sure it is not soaked in sauces or flavorings.
  • eggs do not contain gluten or casein but be mindful of the oil used in cooking

You can try shopping at a nearby farmers market or Whole Foods store near you for GFCF food brands. Vancouver has Cambie, Robson, and Kitsilano. Ontario has Oakville, Unionville, and Squage 1 Missisauga. There is also one in West Vancouver and another in Toronto – Yorkville.

What Not to Buy

  • foods containing gluten, such as, wheat, barley, rye, millet and oats
  • foods containing casein, such as, cheese, yogurt, cow/goat/lamb milk, breast milk, ice cream, and other dairy-based foods such as pasta, baked products, and sports drinks
  • prepackaged foods may sometimes be labeled as gluten-free or dairy-free or both, but do check the label closely as casein can be used as an ingredient

Indeed, autism spectrum disorders are complex neurological and developmental condition which still has no cure and no known causes. Though ABA therapies and other forms of treatments have been available, parents cannot help but find ways and means to make life a little easier for their kids on the spectrum. The GFCF Diet continually make waves nowadays but, before you engage your child on this diet, it is imperative that you seek out the advice of an accredited physician or nutrition/diet expert with hands-on experience on autism treatment to guarantee safety and health of your child.


10 Methods of Autism Intervention

13 Types of Autism InterventionThere is no doubt that early intervention can best deliver progress and results to children living in the shadows of Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASD, have a variety of treatments and therapies duly called “intervention” by experts.

It is important to understand that one intervention method can work for a child with autism but may not work with another. This is because each spectrum in ASDs is unique from each other. Any of these can overlap one another but, all the same, the effect can vary from child to child.

To understand about how Autism Spectrum Disorders are usually treated, here are some broad categories usually used for interventions. These are random ones picked from various resources. Treatment for ASD can be comprehensive and intensive, and research is still ongoing on various treatments, likely causes, and other factors which could aid in completing the puzzle. So, if you know another method, feel free to comment at the bottom of the page.

1. Standard Healthcare Services

Designed primarily to maintain good health and well-being of children with autism, these include wide-ranging “conventional” (widely-accepted) treatments, therapies and/or interventions carried out by health care professionals such as doctors, occupational and physical therapists, psychologists, speech-language therapists, and many more. A variety of approaches and methods are usually combined on these services. For example, an ABA expert working with a speech pathologist and occupational therapists to provide complete intervention to a child or adult with autism.

2. Complementary/Alternative Medicine

Let’s point out the difference. Complementary medicine usually works together with standard healthcare services while alternative medicine works in place of conventional techniques. Paediatricians with background on autism can work alongside speech therapists or a chiropractor when engaging in complementary medicine intervention. Alternative medicine, on the other hand, is the type of intervention that replaces standard healthcare services. Naturopaths, for instance, can work singlehandedly in “correcting” chemical imbalance on an individual-with-autism’s body.

3. Developmental and Behavioral Interventions

These intervention techniques revolve on teaching and coaching. Behavioral therapies are customarily designed to promote appropriate or independent behavior and inhibit unsuitable behavior. Desired behavior is usually broken down into specific tasks taught in a structured manner.
On the other hand, developmental interventions are aimed at a child’s core deficits. Therapists and parents as well as special education teachers work together in engaging a child’s own interest to enhance communication, affection, social interaction, logical reasoning, and so on.

4. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapeutic intervention is a range of treatments with one or more processes that completely allow an individual with autism to fully comprehend his abilities and challenges. Counseling is one form of psychotherapy which can take many forms. It can be just plain “talking” with a therapist his innermost thoughts while others engage in counseling through creative art form like music or dance. Some counseling are done to improve speech/communication, and social interaction.

5. Medications

Widely known as medicines or pharmaceutical drugs, this type of intervention is usually prescribed to cure or treat a medical diagnosis. They are sometimes classified according to their chemical properties, therapeutic effects, mode of administration, and so on. Some medicines are also used nutritional supplements.

6. Biomedical’ Interventions

Biomedical means the application of biological/physiological sciences to clinical medicine. Though this could mean a lot of things to different people, most individuals living with autism know that this refers to a set of interventions designed to stop or reduce biomedical issues that usually trigger or worsen symptoms and issues faced by those living in the spectrum. Though often considered as part of complementary or alternative medicine, this group of intervention is usually more specific. Some examples of biomedical intervention includes the GFCF diet (strict enforcement), use of nutritional supplements and hormones, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, chelation, and so on.

7. Motor/Sensory Interventions

Treatments and therapies falling on this category usually aim to improve movement of body parts (motor skills) and heighten sensitivity to one or more senses(sensory perception) to an individual with autism.

8. Alternative and Augmentative Communication

Communication is one of the most highly affected skills in individuals with autism. Alternative communication is usually a set of therapies used to enhance speech and/or language without using the conventional technique. Augmentative Communication, on the other hand, is designed to enhance and complement standard technique in communication therapies.

9. Assistive and Adaptive Technology

In today’s age of technology, the use of assistive and adaptive technology is nothing new. This type of intervention usually makes use of low-tech, mid-tech or high-tech devices, products, and equipment aimed at maintaining, augmenting or improving functional capabilities of those living with ASD. Low-tech gadgets examples are clipboards, photo albums, dry erase boards, etc. Mid-tech examples are Language Master, calculators, voice output devices, and so on. Typically costly, high-tech gadgets such as computers, videocams, and complex voice output devices are more commonly used today.

10. Service-Based Interventions

This intervention category is broken down into three subcategories namely, educational services, employment services, and social care services. Educational services for individuals on autism are focused on the education and mental development of individuals with autism. Employment services are designed to make people find and keep job suited to their abilities. Social care services, on the other hand, are designed to assess the needs and provide support therewith to individuals in a community. This usually includes, residential care, social groups, and so on.

There are also other interventions that do not fall on any of the categories mentioned. Examples are animal therapies, relationship-based intervention, and the use of politics and PR. Indeed, autism is a complex condition that requires various intervention methods. In all these, however, the earlier the intervention usually means the better the progress.