The most effective treatments available today are applied behavioral analysis (ABA), occupational therapy, speech therapy.Treatment works to minimize the impact of the core features and associated deficits of ASD and to maximize functional independence and quality of life.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) works to systematically change behavior based on principles of learning derived from behavioral psychology. ABA encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative behaviors. In addition, ABA teaches new skills and applies those skills to new situations
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational therapy is often used as a treatment for the sensory integration issues associated with ASDs. It is also used to help teach life skills that involve fine-motor movements, such as dressing, using utensils, cutting with scissors, and writing. OT works to improve the individual’s quality of life and ability to participate fully in daily activities. Each occupational therapy program is based on individual evaluations and goals. Occupational therapy for young children with ASD often focuses on improving sensory integration and sensorimotor issues. In older children, OT often focuses on improving social behavior and increasing independence.
Since people with ASDs have deficits in social communication, speech therapy is an important treatment option. Speech therapy with a licensed speech-language pathologist helps to improve a person’s communication skills, allowing him to better express his needs or wants. For individuals with ASD, speech therapy is often most effective when speech-language pathologists work with teachers, support personnel, families, and the child’s peers to promote functional communication in natural settings.
Some individuals with ASD are nonverbal and unable to develop verbal communication skills, and the use of gestures, sign language, and picture communication programs are often useful tools to improve their abilities to communicate.