There is no single intervention for treating the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Conditions. Most people benefit from a holistic person-centered therapeutic approach. These are the most tradition therapies offered by service providers.
Occupational Therapists assists individuals with disabilities achieve their optimal level of independence in purposeful activity performance. Many children with ASCs present with difficulties in fine motor and/or gross motor skills and sensory issues which affect their ability to engage in daily activities and roles.
Speech and Language Therapy
The communications difficulties can vary and may depend on the intellectual and social development of the individual. Some may not be able to speak whereas others have well-developed vocabularies and can speak at length on topics that interest them. All speech and language therapy must begin with an individual assessment of the child's language abilities by a trained speech and language pathologist.
Physical therapy may be an option for children with autism who need help developing age-appropriate motor skills, have low muscle tone, or have problems with physical systems such as breathing control. Older children can also benefit from carefully constructed exercise programs, which may be led by a physical therapist.
Psychologists focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients with behavioral intervention. Psychologists are also qualified to conduct psychological testing, which is critical in assessing a person’s mental state and determining the most effective course of treatment.
These are specialised psychologists who are trained to assess any intellectual or learning difficulties a child might have. They can also give valuable insight in a child's learning style, advice teachers and tailor an educational programme to suit the child. Their reports are used to apply for SNA's, resource hours and special accommodations which can be made for children sitting exams.
A child and adolescent psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of problems in thinking, feeling or behaviour that affect numerous children, teens and their families. They help in the treatment of anxiety, depression and ADHD, which sometimes occur in children with ASC. The psychiatrist may prescribe medication suitable to your child's problem.
Play Therapy uses play as a tool for building skills in children with autism, using the child’s own interests as the starting point. Over time, the therapists will work with the child to build reciprocal skills (sharing, turn-taking), imaginative skills (pretending to feed a toy animal, cook, pretend skills) and even abstract thinking skills (putting together puzzles, solving problems).
A Developmental Paediatrician assesses and diagnoses children who are failing to develop or acquire skills at the accepted normal rate of development. They assess health and physical growth as well as intellectual development and usually work in tandem with other professionals. The Developmental Paediatrician can arrange for any medical tests such as brain scans or testing for genetic conditions and will arrange for further assessments before giving a diagnosis. They will also refer the child onto other specialised multidisciplinary teams for specific assessments for conditions such as Autism. Developmental Paediatricians usually work through a hospital, although some do have private practices. Any person who has concerns about the development of their child should ask their GP or local Health Centre for a referral to a Developmental Paediatrician.
A Dietician is a health professional who specialises in the development and preparation of healthy balanced diets. They help develop specialist diets for people who may be unable to eat certain food groups because of illness, allergy or intolerance. Many children with ASC have fussy eating habits and a dietician can help the family introduce new foods and monitor the child’s diet.