Tammi Reynolds, BA & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA
image by (lic)There is no cure for autism spectrum disorder. It is a lifelong condition that can only be treated and managed with appropriate intervention. It is crucial to intervene as early as possible because the condition can interfere with normal language development. Without therapeutic assistance, children with autism spectrum disorder may not learn language properly or at all. Being able to use language is essential and fundamental for children's normal development. They cannot become educated or learn how to take care of themselves without language. Because of this, it is critical to help them learn language at the earliest moment possible. Early therapy for other symptoms, including behavioral and social issues, is also very important if behavioral and social problems are to be minimized.
A wide variety of interventions have been developed to assist children with autism spectrum disorder. Selected approaches address each child's specific needs as determined by educators and clinicians whose findings are formalized as an individualized treatment plan. Each child's treatment plan outlines that child's strengths and challenges and lists long-term and short-term goals for the child to reach. The treatment plan also outlines specific interventions that are to be used to help the child meet his goals.
Some of the more important treatment approaches are briefly described in the following sections.