In the case of autism, the child’s symptoms are often hard to identify. The reason for this is because they often mimic those of other illnesses or disabilities. Therefore, it is often up to the parents to put together the puzzle pieces and figure out how to identify the symptoms of autism in their child. The goal of Evidence Based Autism Treatment is to find out what is causing the behavior and then target specific therapy or treatments to eliminate the problem.
As with any disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a wide range of behaviors that can be classified as autistic. A good example is repetitive behaviors. While there may not always be a reason behind this particular behavior, many professionals believe that repetitive behavior indicates autistic disorder. A good evidence based autism treatment will address these behaviors in detail.
Inability to Establish Eye Contact
One of the biggest indicators of autistic behavior is the inability to establish eye contact or even to smile. However, these behaviors can also be caused by normal behaviors. A good example of this is the tendency of children to walk in circles.
The repetition of certain phrases is also common in the case of autism. While this is not considered a classic example of autism behavior, it can indicate Asperger’s syndrome or just a normal variation in language. Another key indicator of autism is when a child points to an object or activity without having any visual confirmation or reference. This is known as directed learning and can be a strong indicator of an autism treatment plan that involves providing instructions or suggestions rather than simply pointing at the object.
Variation in Behavior between Children
It is important to note that there is often a great deal of variation in behavior between children with ASDs. Some are extremely lively, while others are more lethargic or quiet. There is also a large amount of variation between males and females in the characteristics of their behavior. For example, males may be less likely to be completely self-centered but tend to be more self-oriented with some autistic characteristics. Females also have a tendency to be more emotionally centered but are not excessively self-centered.
Determine what is Causing the Behavior
An Evidence Based Autism Treatment plan’s main goal is to determine what is causing the behavior and then provide a plan for treatment. One important tool in this process is a behavioral observation system, a video camera trained on the patient that records all behavior. This information is then fed into a computer system, which analyzes the data. Once the analysis is complete, a report is created describing the observations and suggesting remedial solutions. Sometimes this report will require further observation by a team of professionals such as a child psychologist. This additional observation helps to build up a solid foundation for the treatment recommendation.
Another tool that is used in Evidence Based Autism Treatment is play. The goal is to create a soothing environment so that the child feels secure and able to concentrate on the play activities. Providing visual or musical cues to take the focus away from behavior that is inappropriate. Providing rewards for appropriate behavior is another aspect of this type of intervention.
Most professionals involved in the field of treating autistic behaviors believe that a successful intervention is one that addresses all areas of behavior. This includes both the symptoms and the causes of the disorder. This can be a challenge because oftentimes the symptoms are mistaken for the causes. Finding out what really is causing the behavior is the first step in finding the right solution.