Autism treatment at PediaPlex is a collaborative approach that involves not only a team of professionals, but also parents and family. Your child’s individual needs and goals are taken into consideration when planning treatment and monitoring progress. Because every child is affected by autism differently, a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment is not the most beneficial way of supporting them, and PediaPlex recognizes this.
Once your child has received a diagnosis of autism or has been referred by their pediatrician for evaluation, an individualized treatment plan can start being developed. Since autism affects behavior, socialization, and communication, psychologists, occupational therapists and speech therapists all work together to create an evidence-based care plan.
An occupational therapist will work with your child on self-help skills such as feeding or dressing themselves. They may use modified methods or tools to be more successful. The therapist will also work on sensory issues, such as reacting to sounds, textures, touch or lights to reduce discomfort in diverse situations. Occupational therapy can help your child to be more successful in school by working on handwriting, cutting, coloring, typing or other fine motor skills.
You may wonder why your child needs a speech therapist if they are non-verbal, or even if they are fully verbal. But speech therapy is about much more than just the act of speaking; it’s about helping your child to communicate more effectively and feel more comfortable in social situations. A speech therapist will work on recognizing facial expressions and social cues and how to respond, strategies for making friends, and alternative methods of communication such using an iPad or text to speech software. They work with your child to determine the best way for them to interact and express themselves.
A psychologist can work with your child on reinforcing positive behaviors and overcoming anxiety, depression or repetitive behaviors. They may implement Applied Behavioral Analysis or ABA therapy to promote functional skills. This involves meeting your child at their level of need and slowly developing their abilities until they meet their intended goal, as well as breaking down tasks into more manageable pieces to promote success. It is a step-by-step process tailored to your child’s individual needs.
One of the areas that children with autism struggle with is socialization. Play therapy equips them with strategies they need to interact with others. Instead of playing with toys, you may notice that your child uses them for self-stimulation – such as staring at flashing lights or moving parts – or sorts, organizes, or lines them up rather than engaging in creative play. Play therapy can help them to build skills such as sharing or taking turns, using toys in imaginative ways, and being more interactive and communicative. These activities usually involve toys that your child shows interest in to create a more meaningful connection.
Autism Treatment Planning
All therapy sessions are provided on a one-on-one basis so that your child’s individual needs are being met. The therapists center activities on your child’s goals and progress. They are not distracted trying to manage the needs of several children at once and give your child their full attention. This one-on-one attention can also be a positive segue into playing with one other child and then a small group of children.
Your child’s autism treatment will evolve from individual evaluations that are conducted and will change as your child grows and develops. Comprehensive treatment can help your child to be more successful at home and in school, and instill in them routines and lessons that they will use throughout the rest of their life. Don’t think of autism as limiting your child’s abilities, because they have the whole world in front of them – they just interact with it differently than other children might. PediaPlex offers evidence-based autism treatment that can help your child to thrive.