What does Psychological Intervention include?
When a psychologist diagnoses your child with ASD for the first time, they would typically perform a comprehensive evaluation, which works as a roadmap that identifies your child's strengths and the areas which need to be worked on.
Psychological intervention involves working on children with Autism to help them engage with others through play, and joint attention. School psychologists work with children with Autism of all ages. They help them to manage stress and handle bullies and general teasing. They work with both, children and adults who suffer from Anxiety, Depression and managing interpersonal relations.
Psychologists also work with parents to address the emotional issues they face due to their child's diagnosis. As the Autism Diagnosis is traumatic for many parents, they may experience excessive anxiety, fear, worry about their child's future.
The recommendations which your child's psychologist makes in terms of your child's cognitive, behavioral, emotional and academic needs, will help your child's ABA therapist, Special Educator, Occupational Therapist, etc., devise a tailor-made treatment plan which works on your child's strengths and accommodate his/her challenges.
Since ASD is a lifelong condition, the treatment plan needs to be altered with age, and needs to work around your child's key transition points, such as starting school, entering adolescence/puberty, or adulthood. A psychologist would work closely with you, as your child's family, to help with certain challenges which may arise as a result of these transitions, such as anxiety, mood disorders/depression, etc. The techniques could include modified cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a method that helps children with ASD change their negative thoughts and inappropriate behaviors.
They can also guide you about how to manage your child's sleep and feeding patterns, which usually coincide with ASD, along with providing social skill groups, to build and improve conversational skills, nonverbal communication and play.
Psychotherapy given individually to your child, as well as to you as his/her family, is also an aspect of psychological intervention. In adults with Autism, this may help with family and marital issues which may arise, as well as to improve life skills which would be needed for employment.
For children with more severe cognitive impairments, psychological interventions would also include techniques to reduce aggression, violence, self-injurious behavior, and improve compliance.
The basic idea of psychotherapy is to work with the child or the individual for them to function at their best and cope with the challenges which may arises for them on a day-to-day basis.