Finding out that your child has autism can be overwhelming. The laundry list of possible symptoms threatens to overpower you and you know that your child has some of those traits but not nearly all of them. Could the problem be something similar that isn’t quite autism? On the other hand, finally having a name for the differences in your child is a wonderful relief.
Autism is a spectrum disorder. That means that your child may have some of the symptoms or many; may be similar in behavior and ability to others in a program or be completely unique; may need help in some areas but none in others. Choosing an autism treatment is really setting up a program of treatments for the specific symptoms your child exhibits; there is not a one-size-fits-all regimen.
Your child may have behavior problems caused by lack of communication skills or difficulty with sensory integration. Options for autism treatment to manage inappropriate behaviors due to overstimulation or to teach appropriate behaviors that do not come naturally to those on the autism spectrum must be assessed on an individual basis.
Some children require intense one-on-one training with an expert who rewards the child for successfully completing certain tasks. Other children learn in an environment suited to their needs rather than trying to train the child to adjust to a more typical environment. Whatever the style of autism treatment for behavior, the regimen has to be tailored to address the specific behavior of each child.
Many, if not all, autistic children need specialized therapy to overcome learning disabilities. Communication difficulties are present in all sections of the spectrum and can be addressed with speech therapy. Physical therapy is an autism treatment for improving motor skills and coordination. Many autistic children have difficulties because they process sensory information differently. Occupational therapy can help to integrate the messages from all senses at once.
There is no medical regimen that works as a direct autism treatment, but several types of medication can address the symptoms or aid in redirecting the brain chemistry. Some autistic children with behavioral, learning, and socialization problems can be helped with anti-depressants like Prozac, Celexa, or Zoloft. Antipsychotic medications can decrease tantrums, aggression, and self-harming behaviors. When choosing an autism treatment, remember that you know your child better than anyone. Don’t be shy about selecting the right set of treatments for your child’s individual needs.