Children with autism are wonderful, creative, loving, and delightful young people. Along with their many strengths, an autism diagnosis can mean your child has behavioral challenges that make communicating, socializing, and coping at school and home more difficult.
If your child is diagnosed with autism, some behavioral therapies can help provide strategies and techniques to improve your child’s life. Keep reading to learn more about how behavioral therapy can help your child.
What is Behavioral Therapy?
Behavior therapy doesn’t treat autism or cure it. Instead, behavioral management therapy for autism helps reinforce appropriate behaviors and reduce inappropriate ones that may cause a child trouble currently or later on in life. These techniques help reduce unwanted behaviors, such as throwing, hitting, or yelling, while focusing on positive behaviors. In many children with autism, behavioral therapies help improve their behaviors, increase their confidence, and lower their stress levels. The goals of a behavioral management therapy program depend on what each child needs. These goals can include many different skill areas, such as:
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Learning and academic skills
- Motor skills
- Play and leisure
- Self-care skills, such as showering and dressing
- Social skills
Helps Ease Anxiety
Behavior therapy is structured into specific phases of treatment. It is also individualized to a child’s strengths and weaknesses. Anxiety symptoms are one of the most common mental health conditions in childhood. Children and adolescents on the autism spectrum are at risk for developing mental health symptoms and anxiety, especially compared to their peers. Modified behavioral therapy for children with autism can be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. Research has also shown that this therapy can help ease anxiety and redirect avoidant behaviors.
Addresses Sensory Issues
This therapy focuses on the child’s sensory sensitivities or what the child may find overwhelming. In most children with autism, different factors may overwhelm them and cause them to have meltdowns or tantrums. Your therapist will try to address these factors, such as loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells that may be overwhelming for your child. Though the child will be exposed to things that overwhelm them, they won’t be forced to their limits. Each of our programs are individualized to the child’s needs and learning style.
Many young children and adolescents who receive early intensive behavior therapy can develop skills to participate independently in a mainstream school setting. Providing one behavior therapy intensively ensures consistency across home and community settings. Families benefit from learning strategies to facilitate their child’s use of new skills and reduce challenging behaviors. Behavior therapy can build and develop language use, communication skills, and build on current conversation skills and improve functional language.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.