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Treatment Of Autism In Adolescents Essay

1582 words - 6 pages

Temple Grandin, a doctor in the field of animal sciences who suffers from Autism, once said, “People are always looking for that single magic bullet that will totally change everything. There is no single magic bullet.” Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. The Autism Spectrum can be split into many subtypes, including Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Development Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Starting from an age as young as infancy, symptoms of Autism may be conveyed. Repetitive behavior, any loss of speech or social skills, and attachment to parents are three of the many symptoms expressed by children with Autism (“What is Autism?”). In order to improve theses symptoms, many types of treatments have been established. First are the Behavior and Communication Approaches, which include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), and different sorts of therapy. Other treatments include dietary approaches, medication, and Complimentary and Alternative treatments. Based on the developed treatments, the early intervention Behavior and Communication Approaches exhibit the most benefits to children diagnosed with autism.
The Behavior and Communication approaches are based on structure, organization, direction, and family participation. Applied Behavior Analysis is “the science of learning and human behavior” (Atwood 35). ABA uses step-by-step progression to break down skills as well as using reinforcement and extinction. Reinforcement is the act of rewarding good behavior, while extinction is taking away these rewards. There are different forms of Applied Behavior Analysis, two of which are Discrete Trial Instruction (DTI) and Pivotal Response Training (PRT). DTI is a type of ABA that “involves a lot of repetition and may look a bit mechanical” (Atwood 37) Students may be asked to do a certain action multiple times consecutively, which allows practice and ensures that the student can correctly follow directions. PRT, however, follows the child’s interests, targeting motivation, response to multiple cues, and self-management (Atwood 37). The motivation strategies are also used in the Early Start Denver Model. ESDM is an early intervention approach incorporating ABA strategies as well as parental involvement and focuses on interpersonal exchange. This model is effective in improving IQ, language ability, and social interaction (“The Early Start Denver Model”).
Several types of therapy are also offered to children with ASD. Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech Therapy (ST), and Sensory Integration Therapy (SI) are three of the most used therapies by Autistic children. Occupational Therapy is the use of treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental or developmental condition (“Treatments”). Dr. Cathy Pratt, the director of the Indiana Resource Center...

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