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It is most important to determine the priorities for the person with autism and the family when considering recommended treatment options from professionals.
Questions to consider when choosing treatment options:
- Explain the treatment and what it will do for my child/adult.
- Is there scientific research supporting this treatment?
- What would be the schedule for the treatment? The number of hours and days a week or month?
- How much will it cost?
- How long will the treatment results last?
- How is progress measured and how will we know if there are gains from the treatment?
- How involved is the family in the treatment?
- Are there families who have used the treatment that could be contacted to find out more information?
- Will this treatment assist the person in improving behavior deficits, living more independently, increasing communication with people, and/or increasing social interaction?
Treatments and services should be designed for the person's needs and desired goals. Three of the most common treatments include behavioral interventions, occupational, and speech therapy.
- Applied Behavior Analysis Services (ABA) provides evidenced based techniques and strategies that are targeted to increasing developmental skills in communication, higher cognitive functions, social interaction, learning readiness, play and motor skills, self-management, and daily living skills.
- Occupational therapy services focus on enhancing participation in the performance of daily living (feeding, dressing, hand washing), instrumental activities of daily living (community mobility and safety procedures), education, work, leisure, play and social participation.
- Speech therapy services focus on receptive language to have the ability to understand words spoken to the person and expressive language which is the ability to use words to express oneself.