Every child learns in a different way that meets their needs. Children with autism are no exception to this and require more individual attention and therapy to determine what works for them. Teachers use a multitude of strategies and treatment methods when working with children with autism.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
This is the most common type of therapy used with children with autism. It is most effective if therapy begins before the child reaches the age of five, but can be beneficial to older children in some cases. This method of learning focuses on teaching social, reasoning, motor and behavioral skills through positive reinforcement and direct observation. This therapy is very time intensive and requires anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week. If your child has ASD, it can be beneficial for you to learn this technique to apply the concepts at home.
Verbal Behavior Therapy (VBT)
This method of teaching is beneficial to children that are non-verbal. It helps teach children how to communicate and express what they want through their words, such as saying “I want…” an item instead of struggling to express what they want or need in a manner that isn’t helpful.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT has been around for over 50 years and is frequently used in children with milder forms of autism. It focuses on defining behaviors that may cause a child to be triggered and can lead to outbursts. The therapy aims to manage reactions. It can aid with helping deal with new situations that involve anxiety and fear. The therapy focuses on a method of handling new situations instead of completely avoiding them.
Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
This method of therapy is relatively new and most effective at young ages. This method of learning focuses on flexible thinking and aims to increase social interactions. It initially focuses on assisting the development of relationships with parents and siblings in sharing experiences and formulating a closer bond. Teachers encourage back-and-forth communication and learning to maintain eye contact.
Teachers have to analyze each type of therapy and apply the most appropriate one for each child. These therapy methods aid in communication, improve learning and assist with developing social skills of children on the autism spectrum.
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