Diseaseschange the casual rhythm of human life. Various deviations interfere humanswith functions like growth, development, and fertility.
These deviations mayconcern different systems: circulatory, muscular, endocrine, digestive, nervousand others. The nervous system controls the perception of inner andenvironmental signals, their transfer and coordination inside the body. What ismore, it affects psychological health and sanity. In particular, this interactionof physical and psychological health may result in in the development ofautism.
In some cases, a person with gene changes may be just a diseasecarrier. Parents should immediately start takingaction once their child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Thesooner 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 youngcompared to the brain of an adult because the brain is already fully developedby then. “ADS is a complex developmental disorder, can cause problems withthinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others” (“What IsAutism Spectrum Disorder”). No cure yet exist for autism, but it can be treatedthrough various different types of methods to reduce the symptoms, and help thepatient grow out from this disorder.
Many may ask themselves how is a persontested to see if they are prone to this disorder? The answer is by observingabnormal behavioral changes in the child. Symptoms vary widely from child tochild some are spot during infancy others later on. Some early signs mayinclude using gestures to communicate, lack of response to name, or has troubleunderstanding feelings. No medical health test yet exists to diagnose if achild is autistic or not. Usually the parents are the ones tofirst notice these changes, and are then brought up to the doctor’s attention.
Inorder to choose the most effective treatment, one should consider the patient’ssymptoms. Visual and audio interferences lead to the inability to concentrateand affects perception reality. The patient may have difficulties inrecognizing words, defining emotions, or noticing the sight direction. Researchencompassing over 1200 patients demonstrated that diagnostic is an essentialstage of treatment. Diagnosis at anearly age allows fighting autism effectively. During the last decades, childrenwith autism got the diagnosis earlier (“How Is Autism Treated?”.
Np). Theprocess of diagnostic consists of “examining the patient’s history, symptomsand appearance, and analyzing diagnostic test. For people with ASD, it requiresa process of observation and clinical examination that can take some time” (“HowIs ADS Diagnosed?”. Np). The process ofexamination explains the diagnostics complexity.
In the case of autism,firstly, the specialist identifies the symptoms. After that, he or she excludesall possible conditions that may cause these symptoms. In addition, thisvariety stipulates the range of specialists that may carry out diagnostics.Usually, the definition of ASD demands comprehensive examination that involvesseveral specialists like pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist,speech-language therapist, occupational therapist.Unfortunately, the remedy able tocure the disorder does not exist.
However, different interventions propose todiminish the symptoms. Usually, practice remains the ultimate step to find outwhat would work for the patient. Some treatment options may include the use of AppliedBehavioral Analysis (ABA), Developmental & Individual DifferencesRelationship (DIR), and therapies such as: verbal therapy, cognitive behaviortherapy, behavioral therapy, and occupational therapy. Not all types of treatment strategies may workfor everyone.
Each person is different, some options may be more efficient thanothers. The family also plays an important role in this process they need to beinformed of everything that is going on. Since they are the ones that spendmost of the time with the child they are able to enforce the skills learned. Forexample, if they don’t know how to apply the skills that are being learnedduring the interventions at home and out in the real world. How is the childever going to overcome the problem and be able to move on forward? Through theuse of these strategies the child will be able to live a normal life just like anyother human being.
The first kind of intervention includesbehavioral therapy. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) holds the leadershipposition among other methods. First of all, it proves its effectiveness duringthe last 50 years. Secondly, ABA compromises high structure and scientificapproach.
ABA concentrates on the development of a certain skill even if thechild demonstrates apathy. Involves the use of different strategies to changethe patient’s behavior. The necessity ofskill stipulates the insistence such as (greeting others or toilet training). Some techniques involved in ABS include EarlyIntensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI), Pivotal Response Training, and DiscreteTrial Teaching. Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention(EIBI) is a type of ABA that focuses on enhancing the child’s behavior and removingunwanted negative behavior. EIBI sessions consist of 20 to 40 hours for 1 to 4years, involving the patient and the behavioral therapist. The program focusesmore on children under the age of 5 years old.
“EBI sessions are customized foreach child’s skill level. A certified behavioral therapist works with the childand family to address specific behaviors that are carefully defined inobservable terms, measured, and recorded to track the child’s development” (Stebbins.Np). A schedule is also set up alonginto different parts to help out the child. Another type of ABS therapy used is PivotalResponse Training (PRT) involves a completion of 25 hours per week.
The mainrole of this is to “increase a child’s motivation to learn, monitor his ownbehavior, and initiate communication with others” (Autism Science Foundation.Np) Family involvement is extremely important as well, most of the therapyusually takes place in a natural environment. Discrete Trial Teaching is a way ofteaching a child or adult new skills in small baby steps rather than teaching everythingin one go. This intervention involves the use of a reward for each procedurethat 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 tothe 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. Areward is given as well, and then proceed with the next color the green card. Theteacher then tells the child to point to the following color. The steps arefollowed as shown in the first procedure and child is rewarded once again. “The Lovaas Model consists of 20-40 hours ofhighly structured, discrete trial training, integrating ABA techniques into anearly intervention program” (Autism Science Foundation.
Np). This type ofintervention 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 treatmentconcentrates on vocalizing patient’s request. Mostly, autist use gestures orpointing to express the certain object. This method uses positive reinforcementin order to improve verbal communication skill. According to the child’s presences,the specialist may use food, activities, or toys that cause the biggestinterest 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 isable 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 mechanismcontributes to the realization if their own triggers. Consequently, a patientstarts recognizing the moments that lead to the particular behavior. “In otherwords, kids learn to see when they are about to head don a habitual behavior ormental path (“I always freak out on test”) and to practice something differentinstead (“I’m going to do that relaxation exercise I was thought”)” (O’Rourke-Landand Bertin. Np). Developmental and individualdifferences relationship (DIR) aims to develop a skill of socialization.Experiencing with a child his or her favorite activities, an adult establishessocial contact and correlates pleasant activities with the communication.
Inthis case, the choice of activity and gentle parental approach define themajority of success.Relationship developmentintervention (RDI) consists of interpersonal engagement, such as empathy andoverall motivation to engage with others. The relationships between familymembers constitute the basis of the program. Particularly, a patient shouldexperience the social and emotional bond with family. In practice, building eyecontact or back-and-forth communication form these connections.Unlike other behavior approaches,medics still doubt about the efficiency of social skills group.
There, childrenmanage real-world difficulties with peers. Though practice demonstratespositive results, theorists notice that children with an ASD feel morecomfortable with adults rather than peers. As a result, the society wonderswhether this lively atmosphere is not too much. Behavioral therapy is the foundationof skill building; however, it loses the effectiveness without any supportsignificantly. For instance, speech therapy includes something more than theskill of correct articulation.
First of all, this learning interacts withnon-verbal communications making bonds between words and actions. Secondly, apatient learns to detect the context of words and their emotional or semanticmeaning. Thirdly, this practice improves conversation skills and interpersonalinteractions. Lastly, the therapy works on the understanding of abstract ideasthat become another challenge for a person with an ASD.
Occupational therapy provides apatient with a knowledge of basic social and personal skills required forindependent 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 autistsexperience 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 particularfeature of this therapy is adaptation. In some cases, corrections provide moreefforts than effect. Then, a person learns to type instead of handwriting as apart of occupational therapy.Additionally, the theory associatesautism with environmental triggers. One of them is specific foods.
The testmeasures the level of patient’s sensitivity, and if some product causes theindividual reaction, they get removed from the diet (“Treatment Goals forAutism”. Np). Moreover, vitamins and microelements contained in differentproducts influence brain activity and homeostasis (the tendency of a system, tomaintain internal stability) in general, therefore, keeping to a special dietindeed increases the chances for successful treatment.Once again, talking aboutmedications, one cannot prescribe something against autism. There is nomedication that exist to cure autism.
Likely, medications will soothe somesymptoms. This way, “Olanzapine (Zyprexa) and other antipsychotic medicationsare used “off-label” for the treatment of aggression and other seriousbehavioral disturbances in children, including children with autism. Fluoxetine(Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) are approved by the FDA for children age 7 andolder 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 theadults (“Medications for Autism”. Np). The combination of genetic,non-genetic, and environmental influences makes autism an unexpected threatthat is hard to prevent. However, these influences are not equated to thedisease 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 theydo not lead to its appearance directly. Considering the disease’s nature, onecannot identify treatment for recovery. However, speech, occupational, andbehavioral theories may improve the quality of life of the same kids with aspecial way of thinking.