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What is the Best Therapy for Kids with ASD Level 1?

“What would be the best therapeutic approach for a 6-year-old boy with Autism (level 1)?”

The ideal treatment for ASD level 1, or High-Functioning Autism (HFA) coordinates therapies that address core symptoms of the disorder (e.g., poor social skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, etc.). While most therapists agree that the earlier the intervention, the better, there is no single best treatment package.

Treatment takes into account the linguistic capabilities, verbal strengths, and social vulnerabilities of kids on the autism spectrum. A typical program generally includes: 

  • training of social skills for more effective interpersonal interactions 
  • training and support of mothers and fathers, particularly in behavioral techniques to use in the home 
  • social communication intervention, which is specialized speech therapy to help with the pragmatics of the give-and-take of normal conversation 
  • occupational or physical therapy to assist with poor sensory integration and motor coordination 
  • medication for coexisting conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety) 
  • cognitive behavioral therapy to improve stress management relating to anxiety or explosive emotions, and to cut back on obsessive interests and repetitive routines 
  • combinations of talk therapy, play therapy, and neurofeedback
Of the many studies on behavior-based early intervention programs, most are case studies of up to five participants, and typically examine a few problem behaviors (e.g., self-injury, aggression, noncompliance, spontaneous language). Unintended side effects are largely ignored.

In my opinion, the effectiveness of social skills training has been firmly established. A randomized controlled study of a model for training moms and dads in “problem behaviors” in their autistic kids showed that parents attending a one-day workshop or six individual lessons reported fewer - and less intense - behavioral problems in their kids.

Vocational training is important to teach job interview etiquette and workplace behavior to older teens with HFA. Organization software and personal data assistants to improve the work and life-management of these teens are useful.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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to read the full article...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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