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Autism Resources for Parents: Therapies & Support Services
This pathfinder will share an annotated list of reference sources, indexes, databases, and other content to help users begin to conduct research on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Speech-language therapy addresses challenges with language and communication. It can help people with autism improve their verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. The overall goal is to help the person communicate in more useful and functional ways.
Communication and speech-related challenges vary from person to person. Some individuals on the autism spectrum are not able to speak. Others love to talk, but have difficulty holding a conversation or understanding body language and facial expressions when talking with others.
A speech therapy program begins with an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to assess the person’s communication strengths and challenges. From this evaluation, the SLP creates individual goals for therapy.
The Speech-Language Pathologist plays an important role in your child’s treatment. The SLP will work with your child on social skills and communication. These are the areas where your child will have the most trouble.
An SLP may work with your child at home, in school, or in an office. Your child might work with the SLP alone or in small groups. Small groups allow your child to practice skills with other children.
The SLP will help your child understand, talk, read, and write. The SLP will work with your child on social skills and behavior.
Social Stories were devised by Carol Gray in 1991 as a tool to help individuals on the autism spectrum better understand the nuances of interpersonal communication so that they could interact in an effective and appropriate manner. Social stories model appropriate social interaction by describing a situation with relevant social cues, other's perspectives, and a suggested appropriate response.
Autism Speaks is proud to partner with the University of Washington READI Lab (Research in Early Autism Detection and Intervention) to provide a series of personalized PowerPoint templates that parents and therapists can customize to explain social situations to children with autism.
Personalized stories currently available are:
Occupational therapy (OT) helps people work on cognitive, physical, social, and motor skills. The goal is to improve everyday skills which allow people to become more independent and participate in a wide range of activities.
For people with autism, OT programs often focus on play skills, learning strategies, and self-care. OT strategies can also help to manage sensory issues.
The occupational therapist will begin by evaluating the person's current level of ability. The evaluation looks at several areas, including how the person:
Cares for themselves
Interacts with their environment
The evaluation will also identify any obstacles that prevent the person from participating in any typical day-to-day activities.
Based on this evaluation, the therapist creates goals and strategies that will allow the person to work on key skills. Some examples of common goals include:
Using the bathroom
Fine motor skills like writing, coloring, and cutting
A visual support refers to using a picture or other visual item to communicate with a child who has difficulty understanding or using language. Visual supports can be photographs, drawings, objects, written words, or lists. Research has shown that visual supports work well as a way to communicate.
Visual supports are used with children who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD) for two main purposes. They help parents communicate better with their child, and they help their child communicate better with others.
The principles of applied behavior analysis (also known as behavior modification and learning theory), developed and researched by psychology and competently applied in the treatment of various disorders based on that research, is clearly within the scope of the discipline of psychology and is an integral part of the discipline of psychology. Across the United States, applied behavior analysis is taught as a core skill in applied and health psychology programs. As such, the American Psychological Association (APA) affirms that the practice and supervision of applied behavior analysis are well-grounded in psychological science and evidence-based practice. APA also affirms that applied behavior analysis represents the applied form of behavior analysis which is included in the definition of the “Practice of Psychology” section of the APA Model Act for State Licensure of Psychologists. Therefore, APA asserts that the practice and supervision of applied behavior analysis is appropriately established within the scope of the discipline of psychology.
Apa Handbook of Behavior Analysis by Gregory J. Madden (Editor)
Publication Date: 2012-08-13
Behavior analysis emerged from the nonhuman laboratories of B. F. Skinner, Fred Keller, Nate Schoenfeld, Murray Sidman, James Dinsmoor, Richard Herrnstein, Nate Azrin, and others who pioneered experimental preparations designed to do one thing -- find orderly relations between environment and behavior.