What therapy services are available for my child with Autism (ASD)?
Typically, kiddos with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) receive a variety of services including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, social skills training and behavioral therapy. It is often best to receive many of these services in the same location to allow for an interdisciplinary approach towards treatment, goal setting, and goal attainment. As kiddos age, they begin to receive life and career coaching to help with transitioning from school to adulthood.
How can these therapy services help ?
Pediatric therapists (OT, PT, SLP, Behavioral) address kiddos development. They evaluate and assess whether a child is at a developmentally appropriate level in all areas including physical, emotional, cognitive, speech/language, eating/feeding, behavioral, social skills, and with all necessary life occupations. If there are any developmental delays or deficits, the OT, PT, SLP, Behaviorist will plan and implement interventions to address family and child focused goals to ensure they continue to progress in their development and can perform all of the tasks or occupations required throughout their lives. These therapists work collaboratively with kiddos, parents, family members, teachers, and other therapists to set goals, provide strategies and activities for home, ensure the best treatment outcomes and goal alignment and attainment.
Does my child need therapy services for Autism Spectrum Disorder?
If you are asking this question, it is best to get an informal screening or initial evaluation for your child to determine a formal need for each therapy services including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral therapy. If you feel your child is missing or slower in meeting developmental milestones, having difficulties with their occupations such as school and school tasks, play, sports, or ADLs like getting dressed and other self-care, then occupational therapy can help address these concerns. If you feel that your child has difficulty with speech, language, and functional communication, then speech therapy may be able to help. If you feel like your child is having difficulty with gross motor skills, balance and coordination, functional mobility, or gait, then physical therapy may be able to help. If you feel like there are behavioral challenges, whether at home, school, in the community, or any other setting, then behavioral therapy may be able to help. If they are having a combination of difficulties, then having your child evaluated by multiple specialties would be most beneficial. Often, many kiddos with Autism Spectrum Disorder receive and interdisciplinary approach, receiving multiple therapies. There are many underlying reasons a child has difficulty with various life skills and tasks or occupations and difficulties with reaching developmental milestones and therapy services can help assess these areas and provide interventions to improve function and overall development.