There is no one solution for addressing behavioral issues caused by autism. Sometimes, more treatments have been used to treat people, but with medical professionals seldom correctly identifying the right steps needed, these treatments are met with limited success. However, in recent years, numerous methods have been found to greatly minimize the symptoms found in people with this mental condition.
Furthermore, as we now have a deeper and better understanding of the human mind, there arose different types of treatments fundamental in analyzing, understanding, and treating the behavior in people within the autism spectrum. From an academic’s point of view, one type of treatment is seen as one of the most effective approaches in addressing autism in children—cognitive-behavioral therapy.
As the development of children differs from those of older children, adolescents, and adults, different approaches must be applied to make treatment more effective. For a parent figuring out which approach best applies to their loved one, this can be often confusing. In today’s post, let’s take a look at the common types of behavioral therapy specialists prescribe to people within the autism spectrum.
Which Therapy Suits Best For My Loved One?
The quick answer is to mix and match, as no one therapy may be suitable for individual children. Many attempts have been made to adapt cognitive-behavioral therapy for adolescents and older children with autism. The goal is also aimed at those who suffer from anxiety, as this is a common feature of autism.
The objective is to determine whether children with autism possess the skills necessary for the success of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Fortunately, the answer is yes.
A 2012 study evaluated the cognitive abilities of older children with autism and compared them with the capabilities of children without autism. Almost every child in the previous group possessed cognitive skills and was able to distinguish between feelings, behavior, and thoughts. The main issue is, children with autism often found it hard to acknowledge or identify their emotions.
Traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy requires strong language skills and abstract thinking, which is often a problem for people with autism. Researchers realized this and changed the treatment to suit people with autism to make it more attractive, specific, and repeatable.
For example, by merely asking children to rate their anxiety on a scale of 1 to 10—the therapist may have a thermometer showing the level of concern from low to high—and ask participants to indicate a support element to illustrate this, specialists can easily identify the right strategies children with autism need for their therapy.
Another strategy for cognitive-behavioral therapy for autism is to focus on the individual talents and interests of the child, which help maintain the children’s motivation and involvement, as well as create frequent sensory actions and breaks, especially for those who may have an attention deficiency syndrome issues.
Researchers noted that cognitive-behavioral therapy should take into account social skills in people with autism, as the underlying social deficit in young people with autism contributes to anxiety, which exacerbates these problems in adolescents.
Therapy can be carried out in several ways, for example, as families, individual sessions, and groups. The advantage of group therapy is that a person with autism sees how similar people struggle with the same difficulties and try to overcome them together.
Social Support is Key to Treatment
The social support and friendship gained through group therapy can be healing in itself. Family behavioral therapy for people with autism often involves educating parents of their children’s behavior. It also includes training parents to promote the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy when a child is faced with a situation unfamiliar to them. Through this, parents will feel more confident and often contribute more to positive changes in their children’s lives.
Researchers have found that protecting children from potentially negative experiences is often a challenge for most parents. Autism services usually have a history of behavioral and emotional problems and real-life failures in the real world. Parents are often reluctant to subject their child with autism to failures and subsequently inadvertently limit their experience so their children could become less restless and more independent.
In addition to obsessive behavior, most autistic children have a high resistance to change. The combination of these two types of behaviors causes a great need for some structure in the lives of people in the autism spectrum.
Using highly modified and technology-oriented behavioral therapy can significantly increase the chances of minimizing these symptoms in an autistic child. Part of the procedure is also controlling the environment in which the treatment is carried out.
The better the treatment is controlled, the better the child can be able to cope. To improve obsessive behavior and resistance to all kinds of changes, this is the best intensive individual approach and intensive care for a child with autism.
Remember, no one treatment provided by certain autism services can effectively change the behavior of children with autism . The most important thing in behavioral therapy is recognizing that every child will have very different symptoms, and therefore, each treatment path will be different.
Keep in mind, though, the basic needs of children with autism (such as a routine and schedule) and the needs of each child will need to be considered along with the types of therapy applied.