Autism is a spectrum disorder because the severity of symptoms varies significantly between individuals with autism disorders. While some people have high functioning autism, others may have disabling symptoms. That means there are different levels of severity for autism diagnoses, making it important to receive a professional evaluation if your child demonstrates autism symptoms. Autism spectrum disorder treatment programs in Westchester, NY provide evidence-based ABA autism spectrum disorder treatment.
What is Autism?
Since autism impacts communication skills, it can make it hard to relate and engage with others. It can be difficult for children with an autism spectrum disorder to befriend and interact with peers, as autism can limit verbal and nonverbal language. Although any child can develop autism, boys are nearly four times as likely to have autism than girls. The exact cause of autism is unknown, but certain factors can increase the risk of autism, such as:
- Genetic factors, such as having a sibling with an autism spectrum disorder
- Certain prescription medications taken during pregnancy
- Experiencing a complex pregnancy
- Having older birth parents
- Having certain chromosomal disorders, such as fragile X syndrome
Symptoms can begin within the first year of life, with many symptoms correlated with a failure or significant delay in meeting certain developmental milestones. Difficulty speaking or failing to use short phrases by the age of two can be a sign of autism, as can an inability to develop verbal skills by age three.
While some individuals with autism may have a comorbid intellectual disability, autism doesn’t cause intellectual disorders but can cause learning issues. Although autism symptoms can continue to evolve throughout pre-adolescence, autism spectrum disorders can be diagnosed in children as young as two years old, making it important to connect with autism spectrum disorder treatment programs if you think your child is experiencing symptoms of autism.
An early intervention program in Westchester, NY treats infants and young children with autism and:
- Improves language skills
- Teaches proper social interactions
- Reduces obsessive or repetitive behaviors
- Increases independence and life skills
- Prepares children for school
Since symptoms of autism can make it hard for children to participate in structured activities or play with other children, early intervention services work to improve social and life skills. Learning how to connect with and interact with peers prepares reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Early intervention services are adapted to your child’s unique needs, which makes therapy options highly flexible. Speech therapy can improve verbal communication, while physical therapy can increase motor and movement skills. Early intervention services can include family therapy, which can make it easier for parents to manage their child’s symptoms.
Other Treatments for Autism
Autism treatment can include various forms of therapy and wrap-around services, such as a targeted intervention program. Because individual needs change throughout early childhood and pre-adolescence, treatment includes regular evaluations and goal planning.
A targeted intervention program in Westchester, NY comprises of 10 to 20 hours of therapy per week. The program focuses more on social and functional activities that the individual engages in. A targeted intervention program improves the cognitive, language, and social skills of people with ASD.
Autism spectrum disorder treatment programs can focus on job training and other future needs. Finding ways to express emotions and thoughts healthily can also improve communication skills and reduce symptoms.
Sometimes, medications like anti-depressants can help relieve some symptoms. Many therapy programs utilize Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), which focuses on building skills and improving behavior. ABA teaches how behaviors are related to external factors and utilizes positive reinforcement to encourage better behavior. A major benefit of ABA is that it is highly versatile and can be adapted for your child’s individualized needs. ABA is also used by early intervention services, as it is highly effective in helping children learn social skills such as how to play with other children.