Autism and Occupational TherapyOctober 12, 2021
Celebrating the Holidays with Your KidsDecember 10, 2021
Autism and Developmental Therapy
Helping Children Develop Skills and Families to Adapt
Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically fall behind in communication skills and social interaction with others, as well as demonstrating some repetitive behaviors. Autistic behaviors include lack of eye contact, biting, rocking, hand flapping, running back and forth, and other rigid routines.
Once a formal diagnosis of ASD is made by a trained specialist such as a Developmental Pediatrician or Child Psychologist, a Developmentalist can help your child in gaining the typical skills needed at their age level.
A Developmental Therapist (aka Developmentalist or DV) has a background in child development, psychology, education, special education, plus experience with children under 3 years of age, and often a master’s degree in Early Intervention.
Your DV assists your child in areas of physical skills, cognitive development, communication, social/emotional skills, and adaptive skills. A Developmentalist also helps your family learn to manage challenging behaviors and provides developmentally appropriate suggestions for rules and routines.
What is the Role of the Developmental Therapist?
Children with autism spectrum disorder benefit from developmental therapy because it can be customized to deal with their specific challenges in self-care, social situations, and daily living activities. A Developmentalist:
- Evaluates your child’s ability to perform tasks and activities typically accomplished by their peers.
- Performs assessments in the child’s daily environments, such as home, school, daycare, and the like.
- Assists the child with improving physical skills, modifying maladaptive behaviors (like biting), and improving communication and social interaction skills.
- Helps parents and caregivers understand the needs and challenges of their autistic child so that they can better participate in the child’s care.
- Collaborates with other healthcare providers to organize the most effective care, including the child’s pediatrician, and/or physical therapist, speech therapist, and occupational therapist.
The Developmental Therapist helps your child with the personal challenges they experience along the autistic spectrum, including difficulties with walking, speaking, learning, playing, dressing, eating, and various functional and cognitive skills.
Early Treatments are the Most Effective
Developmental Therapy is most effective when children begin treatment programs early, between the ages of 0 and 3. Parents choose early intervention therapies because they have been shown to yield benefits both immediate and life-long in areas such as behavior, academic achievement, delinquency and crime, and eventual career attainment.
Developmental Therapy and ABA Therapy
Developmental Therapy is often used in combination with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy.
ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is a science-based technique for behavioral engineering that starts with understanding the basis of behaviors and then rewarding positive behaviors and discouraging negative ones. ABA is used to help children with autism improve their social, communication, and play skills.
Autism is a complex disorder involving difficulty in social interaction, impairment of communication skills, and often the presence of repetitive patterns of behavior.
ABA is used to help children with autism improve their social, communication, and play skills. Positive reinforcement and individualized treatment plans can result in positive and meaningful behavioral change for children with ASD.
To learn more about the benefit of Developmental Therapy and ABA Therapy for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, call TEIS Early Intervention at 412-271-8347 or visit our Contact Us page to get help today.