Saturday, September 27, 2014

Therapy for Autistic Children

What types of therapy and services are indicated for children on the autism spectrum?

  • Talk Therapy
"Ordinary therapy is not usually indicated for autism; in fact, talk therapy would be relatively impossible for autistic children, and only useful with higher functioning adults or with clients diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder. This disorder is sometimes called “the little professor” syndrome, as children with this diagnosis do not show the intellectual delays associated with autism, and, unaware as they are of social cues, may tend to show-off their knowledge, in addition to becoming extremely interested in one or two areas of knowledge, another symptom of autism spectrum conditions.source

Therapists Who See Children & Teens: Master's and PhD Level (not nec. children with autism)

  • Behavior Specialist (usually through schools or child/family therapists)
"A good therapist can identify the signs of autism, help rule out other possible causes of the child’s behavior (perhaps with the assistance of other professionals),  and refer the child to a specialist in behavioral therapy, most commonly Applied Behavioral Analysis, the approach with the most proven success. Adults with autism, especially milder forms, and children and adults with Asperger’s may benefit from talking therapy in order to overcome social isolation, though they are unlikely to seek such help as this situation usually does not bother them – it bothers their families." source

Early Intervention

Hood River
Wasco County
White Salmon

Special Education

Hood River
Wasco County

Developmental Disabilities

MCCFL Hood River and The Dalles
  • Occupational Therapy
"Kidsense provides specialized pediatric therapy services in the Columbia Gorge area. Our fully equipped sensory integration and rehabilitation clinic provides occupation therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and massage therapy for a wide variety of issues. We treat a variety of diagnosis including Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum disorders, orthopedic disorders and issues, we treat neurological disorders with related learning, attention, movement, posture, strength, feeding and behavioral issues."

  • Play Therapy
 "Note that severely autistic children have not traditionally received child-centred play therapy, as a capacity or potential capacity for symbolic play is deemed necessary. Some children at the "higher" end of the spectrum can develop this, or else have an existing rudimentary capacity. The autistic child may receive a related or adapted version of child-centred play therapy, such as Greenspan and Weider's (1999, 2000) approach, the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship approach (DIR) known as "Floor Time", if the therapist can offer this." source

"Autism is largely a social-communication disorder. Children with autism find it extremely difficult to relate to others -- particularly to peers -- in ordinary ways. Instead of playing with toys in imaginative or symbolic ways (pretending a doll is really "my baby," for example) they may perseverate on objects, use them for self-stimulation, and become entirely self-absorbed. Play is a wonderful tool for helping children (and sometimes even adults) to move beyond autism's self-absorption into real, shared interaction. Properly used, play can also allow youngsters to explore their feelings, their environment, and their relationships with parents, siblings and peers. Very often, too, play therapy can allow parents to take an active role in their autistic child's growth and development. Play therapy can be taught to parents, and, over time, parents can become their child's therapist while also building a stronger, more meaningful relationship."  source

Play and the Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Play Therapy Techniques (for Autistic Children)

Evidenced-Based Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Respite care
"Every parent needs a break now and again. And for parents coping with the added stress of autism, this is especially true. In respite care, another caregiver takes over temporarily, giving you a break for a few hours, days, or even weeks."

  • Individual, marital, or family counseling
"If stress, anxiety, or depression is getting to you, you may want to see a therapist of your own. Therapy is a safe place where you can talk honestly about everything you’re feeling—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Marriage or family therapy can also help you work out problems that the challenges of life with an autistic child are causing in your spousal relationship or with other family members."

1 comment :

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Rebecca Chrisman Hunter, MSW

Rebecca Hunter, MSW
216 Cascade in Hood River
Call or Text: 541-400-0186


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