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Step #10: Continue Research and Experiment with Treatments

The message here is simple: keep trying new things. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all treatment for autism. Start with prescribed biomedical treatments, a home program in behavior modification, and speech and occupational therapies, but don't stop there. Research and experiment with additional therapies and biomedical treatments along the way. Contact other parents and service providers and ask them to share their experience with additional therapies and teaching techniques. Make it your long-term goal to continue experimenting with such treatments and evaluating your child's progress on a regular basis. You may find that some treatments lose their benefit or effectiveness over time. Consult with your DAN! Practitioner and Program Therapists regularly; you should always consider their observations and opinions when making your assessments.

The following short list of educational therapies and interventions is known to compliment home programs:

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI): Gaining momentum in the autism community, RDI is another effective and highly recommended therapy. It's based on the model of Experience Sharing developed by Dr Steven Gutstein. The primary goal of the RDI program is to systematically teach the motivation and skills for experience-sharing interaction. Unfortunately, qualified providers are not available in all areas. Contact The Connections Center and ask about providers and training in your area. See the following web site for more information (including scheduled workshops presented by Dr. Gutstein).

    The Connection Center

TEACCH: (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children is this right? It doesn't seem to match the letter order of the acronym]) was developed at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina in the 1970's. It is a structured teaching approach based on the idea that the environment should be adapted to the child with autism, not the child to the environment. It uses no one specific technique, but rather is a program based around the child's functioning level.

    Division TEACCH

PECS: (Picture Exchange Communication Systems) was developed at the Delaware Autistic Program to help children and adults with autism to acquire functional communication skills. It uses ABA-based methods to teach children to exchange a picture for something they want, such as an item or activity.

    PECS Provider

Floortime: An educational model developed by child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan, Floor Time is much like play therapy in that it builds an increasingly larger circle of interaction between a child and an adult in a developmentally based sequence.

    The Floortime Foundation

Tomatis: By stimulating the auditory system, and through it, by stimulating the brain, the Tomatis Method has been able to reduce the autistic symptoms to varying degrees. Each autistic person is different and may respond differently to the program.

    The Tomatis Method

Fast ForWord: A computer-based language and reading program designed by Scientific Learning to develop the cognitive skills necessary for successful speech, reading, and learning. Studies have revealed improvements in as little as 4 to 12 weeks.

    Scientific Learning



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