Young children with autism can significantly benefit from early interventions that, in some cases, although rare, they may lose their symptoms altogether. There are several early intervention measures that parents can choose from. However, it can be difficult to understand the differences between the available options and decide which one is best for your child. Hopefully, this article can provide the clarity you need.
Speech therapy (ST), occupational therapy (OT), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy
Speech therapy (ST), occupational therapy (OT), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy are three of the most common therapies for children with autism. These approaches are all unique, but they also complement one another. Speech therapy, as the name suggests, is an intervention intended to help people develop better language and communication skills. Children with autism may exhibit speech delays, robotic-like speech, and trouble with conversational skills. It’s a speech therapist’s job to address these deficiencies. They may also help with feeding problems related to sensory issues. ABA and OT have some notable similarities, especially in regard to their overall goals for treating autistic children. These two interventions strive to equip children with various functional, social, self-management, and independent living skills. However, their approaches are unique. While OT seeks to help children master activities of daily living, ABA emphasizes treating autism by altering social and learning environments.
Three Types of Therapeutic Interventions
Overall, these three types of therapeutic interventions can help in your child’s development. In choosing which intervention is best, consider your child’s specific needs and select the one that will directly address those needs. Notably, ABA is the most intensive service and may demand about 30-40 hours of your time per week. However, it is also an evidence-based approach and has the greatest documented evidence for producing remarkable lifelong improvements. For this reason, it’s often recommended for children with autism. This is not to say that you should restrict yourself to this option. Consult a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, and ABA therapist to guide you through which option you should consider for your child.