There are a number of different intervention options to treat individual with an autism spectrum disorder. They are tailored according to the specific needs of the patient and often combinations are used to improve patient and carer quality of life.
This type of intervention is built on the basis that human behaviour is learnt through the interaction between an individual and their environment. Implemented strategies aim to teach and increase positive behaviours while reducing non-adaptive behaviours. Such interventions include Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) which aims to increase, maintain and reduce target behaviours. These behaviours include learning skills, social skills, communication and basic adaptive living skills such as gross and fine motor skills, toileting, dressing, orientation and work skills.
Therapy based interventions:
Therapy based interventions focuses on developing communications and social skills as well as sensory motor development. Interventions include Speech pathology/ Speech therapy and occupational therapy.
As patients with an ASD often experiences challenges in different areas of communication, for some verbal communication is realistic, for others other forms of communication such as gestures or symbols. The sole aim of speech pathology/ speech therapy is to improve useful communication by establishing goals and evaluating to determine the best approach for the individual patient.
Occupational therapy aims to introduce new skills while maintaining and improving current skills to allow an individual to independently participate in meaningful life activities. Target areas including coping skills, fine motor skills, play skills, self-help skills, and socialisation skills.
Intervention includes relationship development interventions (RDI) which comprises of six objectives:
It employs a systematic approach to build motivation and teaching skills based on the patient’s current developmental level of functioning. As the patient develops and progresses through the intervention it adds to the patient’s ability to form and maintain relationships.
Parents and carer’s reaction to a positive diagnosis most definitely involves the feeling of grief. It often ranges from shock and outrage to relief that they have found an answer. Thus, it is important that parents, carer’s and the people around them seek support to aid them on the path of intervention and to improve quality of life for both patient and their carer’s.There are many support groups and services available which are willing to ease you into living with ASD. These include: