As the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased so dramatically over the past few decades, so has our understanding of how to treat this complex disorder. We are fortunate to live in a time when children with ASD are given so many chances to succeed, with so many options to help them live up to their greatest potential. Many different treatment options exist today. But as a parent, how do you make informed decisions about your child’s treatment?
ASD is a spectrum disorder, which means no two individuals will display the same symptoms or behave the same way. Because every case is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment that is guaranteed to help all of the people, all of the time. This means that you, as a parent, have the responsibility of identifying your child’s unique strengths and weaknesses and using this knowledge to make informed decisions.
The National Institute of Mental Health has put together a handy list of questions to ask when you’re looking into options for your child’s treatment:
- How successful has the program been for other children?
- How many children have gone on to placement in a regular school and how have they performed?
- What type of training and experience do staff members have in working with children with autism?
- How are activities planned and organized?
- Are there predictable daily schedules and routines?
- How much individual attention will my child receive?
- How is progress measured? Will my child’s behavior be closely observed and recorded?
- Will my child be given tasks and rewards that are personally motivating?
- Is the environment designed to minimize distractions?
- Will the program prepare me (as a parent or caregiver) to continue the therapy at home?
- What are the cost, time commitment, and location of the program?
Kids On The Move uses Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) as the foundational therapy for every child we treat across the state of Utah. ABA is often described as the “Gold Standard” of therapy for treating ASD because of the overwhelming medical and scientific evidence demonstrating its effectiveness. It is the most widely researched and empirically validated treatment available and has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals living with autism.
Along with choosing a therapeutic approach, you as parents must also carefully consider the agency and therapist(s) who will be interacting with your child. What are their reputations, experience, and credentials?
Kids On The Move employs only the very best Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). BCBAs are Master’s level therapists specifically trained in the science and art of ABA for the purpose of treating Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our BCBAs listen carefully to you, the parents, as we learn about your child. We evaluate your child across a wide variety of domains, looking for both strengths and deficits. Our Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) are carefully screened as well, and have been well trained and certified before they ever begin working with your child.
We love what we do in our Autism Center. We know it has huge implications for your child, and we take our responsibilities very seriously.
What has your experience been as a parent? What advice would you give other parents who have recently received a diagnosis of ASD for their child? Leave them in the comments!
We love to hear from our reader base. Thank you all, and see you next week!