There are a number of therapies that can help people with autism therapy spectrum disorder (ASD) improve their quality of life. These therapies aren’t a cure for the condition, but they can help people with ASD live more independently and function better in everyday situations.
Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, is one of the most widely used and effective forms of autism treatment. It teaches children with ASD language, social skills and other behaviors that are important for independent living. ABA is often provided through school programs or by private therapists.
Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, can also help people with ASD learn how to recognize and reevaluate emotions, such as anxiety. This type of therapy isn’t suitable for every person on the spectrum, but it can be a good option for many.
Sensory integration therapy helps people with ASD cope with sensory input from things like light, sound, touch, and smell. The therapist gently exposes the child to different types of stimulation, so that they can handle it without getting overwhelmed.
Relationship development intervention, or RDI, is another form of family-based therapy that can be helpful for kids with autism and their parents. In RDI, parents are trained to be their child’s primary therapists, and they work together to develop relationships.
Play therapy is a form of therapy that uses play to teach children with autism about their environment, feelings and relationships. These sessions are usually done individually or in group settings, and they give kids a chance to interact with other children with autism.
Occupational therapy is another therapy that can help people with ASD improve their skills for independent living. This can include developing handwriting, social skills, and other motor skills that are necessary for a person with autism to function in daily life.
Physical therapy, or PT, is an excellent choice for those with ASD who want to improve their muscle control and coordination. PTs can also help with balance, posture, and other physical activities that are difficult for those with ASD to manage.
Arts therapy is another popular type of therapy that can be beneficial to people with autism. These treatments can be a fun way to help your child explore their creative side, and they may even allow them to practice their acting or singing skills in an environment that isn’t threatening.
Acupuncture is another form of therapy that can be useful for people with autism. This treatment helps people with ASD improve their pain levels and reduce stress.
Speech and language therapy is another important type of treatment for people with autism. These therapists can help your child improve their verbal and nonverbal communication skills, including sign language or other forms of communication through pictures or hand signals.
There are also several alternative or complementary therapies that can be useful for people with autism, but they’re not always covered by health insurance. They can cost a lot of money, so it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider before trying them.