Treatment Plan (Medications, Therapies) for Autism, Tips for Parents

A Good Treatment Plan for Autism Will:

  • Help in building the interests of your child.
  • Present a convenient schedule.
  • Teach to carry out tasks in a step by step manner.
  • Engage your child in carrying out the agendas more attentively.
  • Provide regular behavioral reinforcement.
  • Show involvement from the parent’s side.

When it comes to getting the treatment done for autism, there are a variety of approaches and therapies available. Some therapies for autism pay close attention to alleviating the problems associated with irrational behaviors and will also help in improving the social as well as communication skills. Other approaches may also help in dealing with motor skills, emotional issues, sensory integration problems as well as food sensitivities.

With a plethora of choices, it is better to get the research done at the right time and speak to the autism experts in seeking the right treatment. It is advisable to not choose a single approach or a treatment pattern. The primary goal of getting the treatment for autism is that all the needs of your child should be addressed while treating the symptoms. This often demands a combination of multiple approaches along with all the other therapies that will prove to be advantageous.

Medication, play therapy, occupational therapy, behavior therapy, speech therapy and nutritional therapy may be amongst a few of the most sought treatments for autism.

Role of Medications for Treating Autism

Role of Medications for Treating Autism

Pharmaceutical treatments can help in improving the self injurious behavior, irritability and aggression that are often considered as the behavioral symptoms linked with Autism. Apart from this, the disruptive behaviors can be reduced by using many treatment approaches, including Applied Behavioral Analysis or ABA and this may be prove to be effective as well. It is advisable to follow the medication under strict guidance of a medical physician.

  • Risperidone is the very first medication approved by FDA for treating the ASD symptoms in kids as well as adolescents. This may be used for alleviating or reducing temper tantrums, aggressive behavior and deliberate self-injury events.
  • Aripriprazole is another treatment used for reducing irritability in the sufferers of Autism. FDA approved its use and some studies have shown that by consuming aripriprazole, the symptoms of irritability were significantly reduced as compared to the ones that took placebo.

Impact of Applied Behavior Therapy (ABA) in Reducing the Symptoms of Autism

Behavior Therapy helps in normalizing the brains of the autistic children.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) helps in changing the behavior in a systematic manner and this based on the learning principles that were derived from behavioral psychology. ABA also promotes positive behaviors and reduces the occurrence of negative behaviors. In addition to this, Applied Behavioral Analysis or ABA also helps in learning new skills and teaches one to apply them in various situations.

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is a kind of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) that can be used for children suffering from Autism and are usually used in kids below five years of age.

Pivotal Response Training is a little different from applied behavioral analysis and it works to boost the motivation of learning in a child, along with monitoring his or her own behavior. It also allows the kids to begin communicating and focus on all the behaviors that promote learning skills. This may include various social skills, play and language as well. The training makes use of various approaches that will help in enhancing the skills in a child.

Discrete Trial Teaching is another form of ABA that is commonly used and in this the child is taught to carry out a task by breaking them into smaller parts. It also teaches a child to use prompts and rewards at every stage.

The Lovaas Model is highly structured for discrete trial training for 20 to 40 hours. It integrates various techniques used in ABA during the early intervention program. The intervention usually begins when the child belongs to the age group of 2 to 8 years and this is not used for the kids that are older than 12 years of age. The techniques are modified to make it more children specific and motivate their success rates as well.

Positive Effects of Speech Therapy in Controlling Autism

As the sufferers of Autism often lack the ability to maintain a social communication, speech therapy comes extremely handy. When the speech therapy is undergone with the help of a right speech language therapist, it can help in improving the communication skills in a person. This will allow him or her to speak the mind in an expressive way. This therapy proves to be effective when carried out in support of elders, teachers, families, support personnel and the kid’s peers that will encourage functional communication in familiar surroundings.

Some people with Autism are unable to develop their skills of verbal communication. At such times, the use of sign language, gestures and picture communication program can be highly effective in improving the communication abilities.

Play Therapy to Overcome the Symptoms of Autism

Play therapy was envisioned originally as a method of psychotherapy for children who were struck with anxiety, trauma and mental instability. Through this therapy, the sufferers could easily act out their emotions to the therapist and he or she would find the right method to get rid of the feelings. Such play therapies are quite popular these days as well and are different from the ones that are used for autistic children.

Play is an excellent medium for the kids as well as adults to see beyond their self-absorbed thoughts and take a leap into the real world. When used properly, it can also allow the youngsters to establish relationship with the peers, get acquainted with the environment and explore the feelings.

Play therapy can also help a parent to participate in the treatment of their kid in an unusual manner. Use of books and videotapes is prominent for parents who want to do play therapy on their own. Alternatively parents can book an appointment with play therapists or make the play therapist come to their home. Apart from this, the child will also be encouraged to do something that is enjoyable and make the therapy equally interesting for him or her.

Physical Therapy to Relive the Symptoms of Autism

Physical therapy is used for improving the deficit motor skills and handles all the issues with sensory integration. Physical therapy is similar to occupational therapy and can help a child in participating in all sorts of daily activities. This can involve improving coordination, walking, balancing and sitting. When integrated in an early intervention program, physical therapy proves to be quite effective.

Benefits of Occupational Therapy in Relieving the Symptoms of Autism

Occupational therapy is used to treat the issues with sensory integration that are often linked with Autism. It also helps in improving the fine motor skills like using scissors, dressing and other daily activities. The sessions that are arranged in occupational therapy may differ depending on an individual’s goals and limits. In children, this therapy helps in improving their behavior in social surroundings and teaches them to be independent.

Nutritional Therapy Benefits for Autism

Children with autism may not always get the right nutrition that is needed by the body to recover. Some may only eat the food depending on how good it feels in their mouth when they are chewing it. Others may avoid eating as it may cause them some sort of discomfort or pain in the stomach. With the hope of improving the symptoms of autism, some children may be asked to follow a limited diet as well.

It is important for the parents and caretakers to seek help of a nutrition specialist or a dietician and plan a healthy meal course for the kids suffering from autism. This way, he or she will get all the necessary foods for recovering and becoming a healthy individual.

Vitamin D Therapy for Soothing the Symptoms of Autism

There were some dramatic improvements seen with Vitamin D therapy and has helped the kids suffering from autism. Vitamin D reduces the actions and biological synthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins that are seen actively in autism. Some auto-antibodies in the brain that are seen in children with autism cause a belief that the condition is autoimmune. Research has also shown that the Vitamin D is reduced when the brain-antibodies are seen in high numbers.

Neurtrophins are regulated by Vitamin D and the brain cells as well as nerves survive well when they are present in adequate amounts. Glutathione is also produced in sufficient quantities when there is Vitamin D present in the body along with detoxification and antioxidant enzymes.

Even though there are no significant studies that prove about the beneficiary properties of Vitamin D. Yet certain mechanisms showed improvement when this therapy was combined with various other available therapies used for autistic children.

Tips for Parents Whose Children are Victims of Autism

  • Learn about autism. The more you learn about what cause autism, the more you will be able to make the right decisions for your kid. It is better to self educate about all the treatments and participate in various decisions taken by the medical practitioners.
  • Become a child expert of your own kid. Figure out all the instances that lead to a disruptive behavior in your child and the ones that calm his or her mind. If you have an understanding about it, you will be able to troubleshoot all the problems in a better way and prevent difficult situations.
  • Accept your child the way he or she is. Apart from thinking about how your child is different from a normal child, focus on things that your child possesses. This will help him as well as you in accepting the situation in a better way without any regrets.
  • Never back down. It becomes impossible to predict the occurrence or course of autism. It is always better to avoid jumping to conclusions and focus on identifying the problems. Like every other person, autistic people also have a life to lead and live.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 3, 2019

Recent Posts

Related Posts