What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a brain development disability first characterized by delayed early childhood milestones. The word Spectrum suggests that the individual has some but maybe not all of the symptoms of ASD listed below:
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Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms and Diagnosis
- delayed or absent language skills
- lack of ability to imitate, pretend play
- apparent lack of interest in other people
- behave below age-appropriate levels
- issues with social skills and interaction
- trouble understanding social cues (waving bye, reading emotion from the face and voice tone of others)
- unusual intolerance of changes to familiar routine and environments
- Trouble with coordination during gross motor and fine motor activities
- ASD diagnosis depends upon the type and severity of ASD symptoms
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Quick Start Tips
- if you notice two or more of the symptoms listed above, see your doctor immediately for a formal assessment and diagnosis
- if your child is over 18 months of age, does not imitate and does not point with the index finger, seek helpimmediately. Early intervention is key to recovery from autism spectrum disorder
- Act immediately. The earlier the intervention, the better the results
- For younger children, seek traditional teaching methodologies like ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Find a service provider in your areaï¾ and start with basic, important skills like potty training, requesting wants and needs, imitating and tantrum-free days.
- For older children, seek service providers who teach independence, self-care and leisure activities
- Teaching materials and other autism products will help greatly for progress
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Recovery from Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cure for ASD
- It has been proven via a scientific study by Dr. Ivar Lovaas that when autistic children under the age of 4 receive intensive ABA therapy for 48 hours per week for two years, they have a high probability of being able to grow up to be “normal”, indistinguishable from their peers, especially if the child is verbal at a very early age.
- In some cases, full recovery from Autism Spectrum Disorder is possible.
World renowned for recovering from severe childhood autism, Temple Grandin is now a doctor of animal science, professor at Colorado State University and autism awareness advocate.
- In cases where early language skills are limited, intensive early intervention teaching methodologies like ABA have significantly improved independence and behavioral skills.
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Autism Education Materials
Education materials to help communicate wants and needs, help to teach imitation skills, academic and cognitive concepts like categories, sorting and more may be used effectively as teaching aids.
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Autism Communication Tools
The #1 best-seller kit to help communicate wants, needs and feelings is the Complete Pictures Kit for autism communication. It is compatible with standard autism education and non-verbal communication methodologies including PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
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Treatment Options for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism therapy and treatment options are many, widely varying in effectiveness and cost.
1. ABA Behavioral Therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis)
Pros: Effective, scientifically proven method leading to the recovery of some kids,
especially kids who are verbal before therapy starts
Cons: Expensive since it requires intensive one-on-one education, and
customized education plan by a board certified consultant. Some critics
say that the skills learned are not easily generalized, however, please
note that no autism therapy method can have the child master
generalization in the early stages of the child’s learning.
- This teaching method is based on repetitive teaching of age-appropriate milestones until the child masters it
- Of the many teaching methodologies to help children with autism learn basic skills, the only method that has been scientifically proven to be effective for young children with ASD is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Whether you opt for home-based or center-based services, it typically comprises of one-to-one education, starting with teaching skills that are essential for learning, including imitation and language development
- There are different flavors of the ABA teaching techniques, including:
VBA (Verbal Behavior Analysis)
ABLLS-R (Assessment of Basic Language Learning Skills - Revised)
VB-MAPP (Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program)
- 2. Floortime
Pros: Can teach the child to interact better with familiar people
Cons: requires extensive time commitment from parents on a daily basis, no scientifically proven benefits
- Floortime therapy is based on the DIR(Developmental Individual difference Relationship). The basic concept is to try and teach the children by communicating with them at their level, building on their interests
- 3. Other unproven, lesser know and used behavioral therapy methods:
Sonrise, Rapid Prompt Method, RDI
- 4. Autism Communication Tools
- The following are tools that help the child communicate wants and needs
- PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
- American Sign Language
- Public School Special Ed, Speech Therapy and Occupation Therapy
- 5. Biomedical Treatment
Pros: Depending on each child’s response, in some cases biomed treatments have significant positive effects on a child’s social and cognitive skills
Cons: Expensive, results vary per child, large range of meds, difficulty imposing diet restrictions when necessary
- To pursue biomed treatments, find the closest DAN! Doctor (Defeat Autism Now!) at www.dandoctorlist.org. The DAN! doctor will prescribe med interventions based on your child’s individual needs. To understand some available treatments and diagnoses methods, you can Google the following search terms:
- Hair, urine and stool Testing
- Yasko Nutrigenomics
- NAET - Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique
- GFCF (Gluten Free Casein Free)\
- HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Tank)
- 6. Service Providers and Resources
- A really good site for a list of service providers is http://www.autismspeaks.org