According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 1 in 60 kids are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To combat this growing mental health issue, researchers and healthcare professionals have focused intensely on autism programs.
Before we can talk about treatment options, first we need to discuss the challenges both parents and healthcare professionals face when diagnosing children with autism. Since autism isn’t a disease but a behavioral disorder, the only way for child psychologists to determine if a kid falls within the spectrum is by evaluating his/her behavior.
Parents play a crucial part in this process as they are the first to notice abnormalities in their child’s development and attitude. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with ADS can determine some parents to overlook or deny signs that could point towards autism.
Assuming you’ve already come to terms with your child’s condition, let’s look at some of the most effective autism programs.
Autism Programs for Your Struggling Teen
1. Behavioral therapy
In a nutshell, behavioral therapies consist of a set of procedures designed to eliminate a wide range of unpleasant emotions and unwanted behaviors. Furthermore, this approach seeks to cultivate useful behavioral patterns that allow children to cope with everyday tasks and benefit from fulfilling interpersonal relationships.
Since autism is mainly a behavioral disorder, this approach is one of the most effective and popular intervention strategies for ADS.
Using techniques such as classical and operant conditioning, behavioral therapy programs, targets the problematic behaviors that children with autism often struggle with. As a result, kids develop the healthy and functional behaviors that make up the basis of prosocial attitudes.
2. Residential treatment
For children and teens diagnosed with ADS, picking up on emotional cues can be a real challenge. This makes it difficult for them to socialize and bond with their peers.
As you can probably imagine, the lack of social skills and emotional intelligence translates to poor academic performance, social withdrawal, frustration, and misdirected anger.
This is the reason why some experts believe a holistic and integrative approach to treating autism is the best option.
Residential treatment centers provide a nurturing environment where children with ADS benefit from therapy, group activities, and exciting learning opportunities.
In other words, residential centers offer comprehensive autism programs that equip children and teens with all the skills they need to survive and thrive in our society.
Since autism isn’t a curable but a manageable condition, teens who struggle with ADS need constant guidance and support.
Aside from learning healthy coping strategies and valuable life skills, they also need to have someone who will assist them in overcoming the challenges of everyday life.
For children and teens who’ve already been through therapy, autism programs that focus on coaching represent a viable complementary approach. Not only that they benefit from professional support, but they also get a chance to exercise their social skills.
Coaching programs for children with ADS usually take place in residential centers, group therapy, and wilderness therapy.
In the end, it’s all about giving your teen the opportunity to develop life skills and become a functional member of society.
To learn more about autism, click here.