There are many different types of therapies or interventions that are used to target specific symptoms or challenges faced by persons with autism. Education, training, medical and therapeutic interventions can address many symptoms of autism, thereby improving levels of functioning and more importantly, increasing the likelihood of success and satisfaction for the person with autism living in a neuro-typical world.
We do not know what causes autism. We also don’t know what causes the way autism is expressed, or the symptoms exhibited by those with autism. Research into which interventions work for a particular symptom or issue and why they work is limited at this point, leaving parents, caregivers and therapists to resort to “trial and error.” The available therapies fall into five broad categories:
- Behavioral and Education Therapy
- Complementary Therapy
- Alternative Therapy
- Dietary and BioMedical Therapy
So, with so many different approaches how do you determine which intervention to try and when?
The first step is a thorough evaluation of the person with autism: how they learn, their current levels of ability, their challenges, what skills will be required for success in life? Other key questions you should consider can be found here.
As parents, you are the lynch-pin of this process. You know your child better than anyone else. Professionals may have extensive knowledge about autism generally and experience in working with specific issues related to autism, but your child is a unique person with his or her own characteristics. Trust yourself! Match your child’s needs and potential to the intervention. Many different interventions are good programs, but they will only help your child if there is a match. Think about interventions as tools. If you need to use a screwdriver, you need a screwdriver. No matter how good the hammer is, it won’t work if you need to use a screwdriver. No matter how good a program or therapist is, if it isn’t the right program it won’t work.
Descriptions of of any particular type of therapy or program contained on this web site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation or support of any particular type of program or intervention. Links are provided to generally recognized sources of information on specific programs or interventions. It is important for each family to do their own research and to try to determine what is best for their family. ASCONN is here to help you navigate through the large volume of information by providing information and research, networks to other families who have tried various protocols, and tools to help you get the answers you need.