Children diagnosed with Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder, benefit from a number of therapies at the earliest point of diagnosis for the best outcome of the child. Many children need physical and occupational therapy due to common physical delays or issues with muscle tone. Some special needs children have low muscle tone and others have hyper tone. To either end they all require physical therapy for many years of their life. Many forms of physical therapy are swim therapy programs, physical therapy involving weights or resistance therapy to build up low tone. Children with hyper tone require therapy as well so they won’t get stiff because their muscles tend to be tight and need therapy to relax them. Forms of occupational therapy involves coordination techniques. Play therapy will be involved in all forms of therapy to help keep the child’s attention. Speech therapy is almost given automatically as soon as delays are noticed,
Another form of therapy which has been somewhat controversial has been Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. The techniques of this therapy are positive reinforcement and repetition to help the child acquire the skill they are trying to teach. It has been know to improve many patient’s conditions overtime. Some may say that the therapy to too strict but many cases have shown considerable improvement. For many children, they can receive this free of charge through an early intervention program through the county they reside in but in some parts of the country, the parents have to pay out of pocket. To say this is unfair would be an understatement. All state and county governments need to get on the same page and provide this service to all children that show delays. For some cases this therapy is a necessity for improvement and their child would be completely lost without it.
For me, my son has received all these therapies and without them being covered through insurance and the state I wouldn’t be able to provide him with the specialized treatment he has needed since he was an infant. I help him in my own way and we have a very special relationship but again with the professional intervention he would be lost. Now, at almost the age of fourteen, I have hope he could be a contributing member of society someday because of his reading ability and computer skills. He has overcome many medical setbacks and is on his way to acquiring more and more skills. If it wasn’t for his therapeutic twelve month program per year I know he wouldn’t be as pas as he is.
If you need these therapies for your child, have an opened mind because not all the same therapies or techniques work the same for everyone. You need to have patience and watch your children improve overtime.
The information in my article is taken from my experience with the professionals that have worked with my son. I credit the physical, occupational, speech therapist, developmental pediatricians, genetic counselors, psychologists, and the special education teachers that have work with us for the past fourteen years in the following school districts; Sweethome, Williamsville, Clarence, Buffalo, Ken-Ton, Lockport, and Honeoye Falls-Lima.