Therapeutic approaches, such as mindfulness, social skills training, cognitive behavior therapy, pivotal response treatment, and applied behavior analysis have all been shown to reduce symptoms and improve functional ability in children with autism.
It's normal to feel fearful about your child's future when you receive an autism diagnosis. It should come as a welcome relief to know that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses, and there are many treatments available that can help children with autism gain new skills and overcome various developmental hurdles. Treatment can help your child socialize better, develop adaptive skills, and perform academically.
Your provider will assess your child, and recommend the best treatment approach to improve your child's quality of life. The following are common treatment approaches that help children with autism.
Applied behavior analysis
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a set of principles that form the foundation for many behavioral treatments for children with autism. ABA is an evidence-based approach to helping children through increasing beneficial behaviors and decreasing unwanted behaviors. ABA can help children with autism with the following:
- Social skills
- Academic performance
- Reduction in unwanted behavior
ABA therapy includes various techniques, all of which focus on the things that happened before the behavior occurs and what happens after.
The goal of behavior therapy is to encourage helpful behavior and reduce unwanted behaviors. Most behavioral therapy utilizes ABA techniques to help children with autism gain an understanding of the link between their behaviors and the consequences of those behaviors.
Behavioral therapy uses positive reinforcement to increase the likelihood that a beneficial behavior will be repeated. This treatment is highly customizable and your provider will adapt techniques based on your child's unique needs. Behavioral therapy can improve your child's daily life.
Pivotal response treatment
Pivotal response treatment (PRT) is another therapeutic approach that utilizes ABA principles. PRT focuses on pivotal areas including motivation, response to cues, self-management, and initiation of social interactions. The goal of this play-based therapy is to develop positive social skills, boost communication and language skills, and ease unwanted behaviors.
Discrete trial training
Discrete trial training (DTT) is another approach that uses ABA principles. DTT provides added structure by breaking skills down into smaller bits to help children with autism learn new skills. Children learn skills one by one through positive reinforcement.
The therapist provides a behavioral cue, the child responds to the cue and receives positive reinforcement for the correct response. This method teaches children with autism skills one step at a time.
Top-quality treatment for children with autism
Children with autism can learn skills that improve how they feel, function and interact with those around them. If you have a child with autism, our team can help your child learn beneficial life skills. To get started, give our knowledgeable and friendly staff a call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Simoni.