Interventions and therapy for autistic children
Every autistic child is different and will have different needs. Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how a child interacts, communicates and makes sense of the world around them. There are a range of interventions and therapies that can help autistic children to better communicate and to have a better quality of life, and this can be done from an early age. Early intervention is key.
Below we share some autism therapy options.
Speech and language therapy
Autistic children have great difficulties in communicating their needs. Some children have no speech, while some children have difficulties in listening and using the right words. A speech and language therapist will work with your child and help them to better communicate their needs. This is done on a one to one basis and with peers, usually through play.
Many autistic children have sensory issues. This may be hypersensitivity or hypo-sensitivity to noise, smell, touch or taste. An occupational therapist can work with your child to find out their sensory needs. They can then formulate a sensory diet, that can help to better regulate their day. For example, if a child craves movement and stimulation, then they may suggest the use of a trampoline or time outside to run and jump. If a child is noise sensitive, then wearing ear defenders may help.
PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication Symbols. These are visual aids that can help a child to communicate their needs and to help guide them through their day. Images can be of objects, such as a building or food, or they can be for feelings. Autistic children who are verbal can benefit from this intervention.
Play therapy is particularly effective for very young autistic children. Play therapy helps with peer interaction, turn taking (that many autistic children have difficulties with), communication, and imaginary play. The child is usually heavily supported by an adult and encouraged and praised during the play activity. This can be something as simple as a shared board game, or playing with toy cars.
An autism specialist, working with speech and language therapists, play therapists and occupational therapists can help to devise a range of therapies to help your child. For further information about our collaborative services and how we can help you and your child, please do get in touch with us today.