Examining Appropriate Interventions
As you will learn in your training, the core deficits presented by autism spectrum disorders are:
- Social Interactions
- Repetitive Behaviors
Once you feel like you have a solid understanding about autism you can begin to examine appropriate interventions that address its core deficits. According to Educating Children with Autism, published by the National Research Council in 2001, the focus of interventions should include:
- Functional spontaneous communication
- Social instruction delivered throughout the day in various settings
- Cognitive development and play skills
- Proactive approaches to behavior problems
To help you evaluate the possible treatment options for your child, the RI Department of Health suggests asking the following questions:
- Has the treatment been recognized by researchers in the field of ASDs?
- How has the treatment worked for other children?
- Will the treatment harm my child?
- Will the therapy fit into our family routine?
- What are the qualifications of the therapist?
- Can the treatment be integrated into other educational programs?
- What therapies can be used in combination with each other?
- Is there published scientific support for the treatment (that is, tests or proof of the treatment’s effectiveness in medical or education journalists)?
- What are the financial costs? Is the therapy covered under insurance or Medical Assistance, or is it paid out-of-pocket?