Autism Spectrum Disorder also called autism is a vast range of developmental disorders that are associated with difficulties in communication, socialization, lack of interest, and restricted or repetitive behaviors. These disorders decrease the individual’s ability to relate emotionally with others and also maintain a harmonious life. These disabilities range from mild to severe. Boys are four to five times more prone to acquire autism than girls.
Signs And Symptoms Of Autism
As autism develops, some children show early signs of disabilities while others develop normally until they reach15 to 30 months in age. Some of the signs in children, which need further investigation, include:
- Evading eye contact
- Prefers to be alone
- Trouble understanding the feelings of other people
- Show little or no interest in socializing with others
- Indulge in repetitive behaviors
- Laughs or cries without any reason
- Get disturbed after sudden changes in schedule or routine
- Do not respond to their name when called
Children with autism may have difficulties in learning, cognition, and gastrointestinal concerns due to an irregular diet.
The signs of autism range from mild to severe, and therefore the symptoms are not diagnosed early in some children. Diagnosing autism may be difficult because there are no medical tests, such as blood tests, that can diagnose autism in children. Developmental screening is an efficient way to test and know if they are learning basic skills at the right time. A doctor or therapist may ask parents about family history (for autism) or talk and play with the kids to know how they behave and communicate.
There is no cure for autism but with various interventions, children have a chance to improve in their areas of weaknesses. Some of them may require intensive speech therapy for (lack of speech) while others can benefit from social skills training or occupational training for an independent future. Known as a ’gold standard’ autism treatment, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is based on a theory that proves that the needed skills in children can be taught through a reward system.
How Do Applied Behavior Analysis Help Children?
ABA therapy for autism is based on an evaluation of each child’s needs and abilities. Children who are already capable of recognizing or arranging shapes and blocks would be involved in more challenging behavioral and social tasks and rewarded for their achievement. As they master behaviors, the therapists will take them into real-world settings (parks or restaurants) so that they can practice the behaviors they have learned for better social experiences. ABA therapy for autism can reward a child for brushing his teeth or for sharing a toy with others.
Thus ABA therapy for autism teaches the desired skill, to teach a child to sit quietly, use words of request when anting something, or wait for their turn in the playground. Thus, ABA can teach a child both simple and complex skill for a reward.
ABA is beneficial to children, teens, and adults. The goal of an applied behavior analysis program is to work on the skills of individuals to help them become more independent and successful in the future.