change the casual rhythm of human life. Various deviations interfere humans
with functions like growth, development, and fertility. These deviations may
concern different systems: circulatory, muscular, endocrine, digestive, nervous
and others. The nervous system controls the perception of inner and
environmental signals, their transfer and coordination inside the body. What is
more, it affects psychological health and sanity. In particular, this interaction
of physical and psychological health may result in in the development of
autism. In some cases, a person with gene changes may be just a disease
Parents should immediately start taking
action once their child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The
sooner the child starts on the interventions, the better outcome there will be.
Due to the fact the brain is likely able to change since they are young
compared to the brain of an adult because the brain is already fully developed
by then. “ADS is a complex developmental disorder, can cause problems with
thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others” (“What Is
Autism Spectrum Disorder”). No cure yet exist for autism, but it can be treated
through various different types of methods to reduce the symptoms, and help the
patient grow out from this disorder. Many may ask themselves how is a person
tested to see if they are prone to this disorder? The answer is by observing
abnormal behavioral changes in the child. Symptoms vary widely from child to
child some are spot during infancy others later on. Some early signs may
include using gestures to communicate, lack of response to name, or has trouble
understanding feelings. No medical health test yet exists to diagnose if a
child is autistic or not.
Usually the parents are the ones to
first notice these changes, and are then brought up to the doctor’s attention. In
order to choose the most effective treatment, one should consider the patient’s
symptoms. Visual and audio interferences lead to the inability to concentrate
and affects perception reality. The patient may have difficulties in
recognizing words, defining emotions, or noticing the sight direction. Research
encompassing over 1200 patients demonstrated that diagnostic is an essential
stage of treatment. Diagnosis at an
early age allows fighting autism effectively. During the last decades, children
with autism got the diagnosis earlier (“How Is Autism Treated?”. Np). The
process of diagnostic consists of “examining the patient’s history, symptoms
and appearance, and analyzing diagnostic test. For people with ASD, it requires
a process of observation and clinical examination that can take some time” (“How
Is ADS Diagnosed?”. Np). The process of
examination explains the diagnostics complexity. In the case of autism,
firstly, the specialist identifies the symptoms. After that, he or she excludes
all possible conditions that may cause these symptoms. In addition, this
variety stipulates the range of specialists that may carry out diagnostics.
Usually, the definition of ASD demands comprehensive examination that involves
several specialists like pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist,
speech-language therapist, occupational therapist.
Unfortunately, the remedy able to
cure the disorder does not exist. However, different interventions propose to
diminish the symptoms. Usually, practice remains the ultimate step to find out
what would work for the patient. Some treatment options may include the use of Applied
Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Developmental & Individual Differences
Relationship (DIR), and therapies such as: verbal therapy, cognitive behavior
therapy, behavioral therapy, and occupational therapy. Not all types of treatment strategies may work
for everyone. Each person is different, some options may be more efficient than
others. The family also plays an important role in this process they need to be
informed of everything that is going on. Since they are the ones that spend
most of the time with the child they are able to enforce the skills learned. For
example, if they don’t know how to apply the skills that are being learned
during the interventions at home and out in the real world. How is the child
ever going to overcome the problem and be able to move on forward? Through the
use of these strategies the child will be able to live a normal life just like any
other human being.
The first kind of intervention includes
behavioral therapy. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) holds the leadership
position among other methods. First of all, it proves its effectiveness during
the last 50 years. Secondly, ABA compromises high structure and scientific
approach. ABA concentrates on the development of a certain skill even if the
child demonstrates apathy. Involves the use of different strategies to change
the patient’s behavior. The necessity of
skill stipulates the insistence such as (greeting others or toilet training). Some techniques involved in ABS include Early
Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), Pivotal Response Training, and Discrete
Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
(EIBI) is a type of ABA that focuses on enhancing the child’s behavior and removing
unwanted negative behavior. EIBI sessions consist of 20 to 40 hours for 1 to 4
years, involving the patient and the behavioral therapist. The program focuses
more on children under the age of 5 years old. “EBI sessions are customized for
each child’s skill level. A certified behavioral therapist works with the child
and family to address specific behaviors that are carefully defined in
observable terms, measured, and recorded to track the child’s development” (Stebbins.
Np). A schedule is also set up along
into different parts to help out the child.
Another type of ABS therapy used is Pivotal
Response Training (PRT) involves a completion of 25 hours per week. The main
role of this is to “increase a child’s motivation to learn, monitor his own
behavior, and initiate communication with others” (Autism Science Foundation.
Np) Family involvement is extremely important as well, most of the therapy
usually takes place in a natural environment.
Discrete Trial Teaching is a way of
teaching a child or adult new skills in small baby steps rather than teaching everything
in one go. This intervention involves the use of a reward for each procedure
that is accomplished. For example, if a child is learning to identify colors.
The teacher might place two cards of different colors a blue and green card.
The teacher then tells the child to point to the blue card. The child points to
the correct card and the teacher might say “Good job! or That’s right! Great!”
to let the child know the teacher recognized of his or her accomplishment. A
reward is given as well, and then proceed with the next color the green card. The
teacher then tells the child to point to the following color. The steps are
followed as shown in the first procedure and child is rewarded once again. “The Lovaas Model consists of 20-40 hours of
highly structured, discrete trial training, integrating ABA techniques into an
early intervention program” (Autism Science Foundation. Np). This type of
intervention only applies for children that are between 2-8 years old.
Verbal behavior therapy (VBT)
teaches non-vocal children to communicate purposefully. This kind of treatment
concentrates on vocalizing patient’s request. Mostly, autist use gestures or
pointing to express the certain object. This method uses positive reinforcement
in order to improve verbal communication skill. According to the child’s presences,
the specialist may use food, activities, or toys that cause the biggest
interest and effect as a consequence.
For example, a child might say the word “water”
when he or she sees water but don’t say “water” when they are thirsty. Through the use of this skill the patient is
able to learn the word, as well as learn how to apply on a daily basis.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
us designed for patients with the slight ability to control their actions. Its mechanism
contributes to the realization if their own triggers. Consequently, a patient
starts recognizing the moments that lead to the particular behavior. “In other
words, kids learn to see when they are about to head don a habitual behavior or
mental path (“I always freak out on test”) and to practice something different
instead (“I’m going to do that relaxation exercise I was thought”)” (O’Rourke-Land
and Bertin. Np).
Developmental and individual
differences relationship (DIR) aims to develop a skill of socialization.
Experiencing with a child his or her favorite activities, an adult establishes
social contact and correlates pleasant activities with the communication. In
this case, the choice of activity and gentle parental approach define the
majority of success.
intervention (RDI) consists of interpersonal engagement, such as empathy and
overall motivation to engage with others. The relationships between family
members constitute the basis of the program. Particularly, a patient should
experience the social and emotional bond with family. In practice, building eye
contact or back-and-forth communication form these connections.
Unlike other behavior approaches,
medics still doubt about the efficiency of social skills group. There, children
manage real-world difficulties with peers. Though practice demonstrates
positive results, theorists notice that children with an ASD feel more
comfortable with adults rather than peers. As a result, the society wonders
whether this lively atmosphere is not too much.
Behavioral therapy is the foundation
of skill building; however, it loses the effectiveness without any support
significantly. For instance, speech therapy includes something more than the
skill of correct articulation. First of all, this learning interacts with
non-verbal communications making bonds between words and actions. Secondly, a
patient learns to detect the context of words and their emotional or semantic
meaning. Thirdly, this practice improves conversation skills and interpersonal
interactions. Lastly, the therapy works on the understanding of abstract ideas
that become another challenge for a person with an ASD.
Occupational therapy provides a
patient with a knowledge of basic social and personal skills required for
independent living. This therapy teaches to feel and control body in space,
eases the daily processes connected to it (swinging, brushing). In practice,
this therapy helps to work out the proper reaction for senses. As autists
experience difficulties with transitions from one place to another,
occupational therapy involves soothing strategies for managing the transition
(Higgins et al. 129). For instance,
this skill may facilitate child’s way from school to home. Another particular
feature of this therapy is adaptation. In some cases, corrections provide more
efforts than effect. Then, a person learns to type instead of handwriting as a
part of occupational therapy.
Additionally, the theory associates
autism with environmental triggers. One of them is specific foods. The test
measures the level of patient’s sensitivity, and if some product causes the
individual reaction, they get removed from the diet (“Treatment Goals for
Autism”. Np). Moreover, vitamins and microelements contained in different
products influence brain activity and homeostasis (the tendency of a system, to
maintain internal stability) in general, therefore, keeping to a special diet
indeed increases the chances for successful treatment.
Once again, talking about
medications, one cannot prescribe something against autism. There is no
medication that exist to cure autism. Likely, medications will soothe some
symptoms. This way, “Olanzapine (Zyprexa) and other antipsychotic medications
are used “off-label” for the treatment of aggression and other serious
behavioral disturbances in children, including children with autism. Fluoxetine
(Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) are approved by the FDA for children age 7 and
older with obsessive-compulsive disorder and for the treatment of depression.
The issue in their prescription is an extreme measure of patients’ age range.
That is why medications’ taking and their effects should be controlled by the
adults (“Medications for Autism”. Np).
The combination of genetic,
non-genetic, and environmental influences makes autism an unexpected threat
that is hard to prevent. However, these influences are not equated to the
disease causes. Doctors are still trying to find a cure to treat this disorder.
Genes or environment may only promote the development of this disease, but they
do not lead to its appearance directly. Considering the disease’s nature, one
cannot identify treatment for recovery. However, speech, occupational, and
behavioral theories may improve the quality of life of the same kids with a
special way of thinking.