There’s no cure for autism, but several therapies have been proven to help people with this condition improve their social skills and learn new behaviors. The type of therapy for autism a person needs depends on their unique characteristics and challenges, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about which treatments are right for you or your child.
Behavioral and educational therapies are often used to treat autism, and they work by improving a person’s behavior, social skills and communication. Behavioral therapies like applied behavior analysis (ABA) use rewards to motivate positive behavior. This technique can be especially effective in children with autism, as they may be unable to understand or interpret negative reinforcement.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that helps people with autism or other conditions understand how their thoughts and feelings influence their actions. It can also help them learn ways to manage their emotions, such as anxiety.
The therapy is usually done in one-on-one sessions and may involve a therapist working with each person individually, or it could be conducted with small groups of people. The therapists will teach each person how to recognize their thoughts and behaviors as well as the ways they can change them.
Sensory integration therapy is another type of behavioral therapy that works to improve a person’s responses to sensory input, such as sound, light and touch. This kind of therapy is not typically very time-consuming and often has immediate results, making it a good choice for parents who want their child to improve their senses.
Arts therapies are another type of therapeutic approach that can be helpful for some people with autism. These can include visual arts, music, acting and dancing. They can also be a fun way to interact with others and help kids with autism build self-esteem.
Occupational therapy is another common therapy that can help people with autism develop everyday skills, such as grooming, dressing and feeding themselves. The therapist will teach the child how to complete these tasks by using tools and assistive devices.
A child with autism who has trouble with social interaction may benefit from a program called social skills training, which is usually a one-on-one session that teaches children how to communicate through a variety of methods, such as eye contact, facial expressions and body language. They might also learn how to use a communication device or picture symbols.
Speech therapy is another type of treatment that can be helpful for many people with autism. This involves learning to speak and understanding how to use language, which can include sign language or computers.
Physical therapy is another common treatment that can help people with autism develop movement and coordination. It can also help a person with autism cope with sensory issues, such as sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights.
Sleep disorders are also a common issue in people with autism, and this is sometimes treated with medication. It can help to reduce the amount of stress that a person with autism feels and help them get more rest.