Category Archives: Special Education

Who Should Treat my Autistic Child?

Parents who have a child diagnosed within the autism spectrum of disorders are hard pressed to find treatments or practitioners for autism that actually work. There are a number of different approaches but only a few have proved to be effective in the successful treatments for autism and related pervasive developmental disorders. Two successful approaches are Applied Behavioral Analysis and sensory integration applied by a certified autism specialist.

One significant method among the various treatments for autism is Applied Behavioral Analysis. In a nutshell, this approach breaks tasks down into small steps. The child with autism is given a direction or command and if he gives the appropriate response, he is immediately rewarded with something that is very motivating for him. This helps the child know which response to repeat. The reward system is prevalent is most treatments for autism.

Within the first year of birth, the special needs children with autism normally understands most of the language it hears. By its first birthday, a child is able to put together a vocabulary of single words, follow instructions, and be entertained by nursery rhymes and stories. By age 2, short sentences are quite common, while by the third birthday, there are complicated sentences and thoughts in evidence. These are really elementary speech abilities, and it is easy to take them for granted. We only get a glimpse behind the complexity at work only when something goes wrong. Is it just a problem to do with speech processing, or is there something slowing down the entire brain? Perhaps the child lacks social skills development. Or is it something simpler, like a hearing disability? These days, with speech delay, there is always the possibility that one is dealing with an autistic child.

Of course, all of this requires childcare specialists, doctors and nurses, social workers and educators who are completely familiar with the timeline that a child’s development usually follows and is furthermore qualified as a practitioner with experience treating kids with autism and has the designation as a qualified autism specialist.