While there is no cure for Autism, different kinds of therapeutic support can help those with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) navigate the world around them.
There are many different kinds of therapeutic support, all of which can help support a child with different symptoms.
Postive Behaviour Support
The overall aim of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is to improve the quality of life of people who use care services and special education, and that of those around them. It is effective in producing positive outcomes, such as increasing the person’s skills and life opportunities. As a by-product, there is a reduction in the behaviour described as challenging.
PBS puts the person first, it is proactive, focussing on tailoring the environment and support to the individual, rather than just responding to episodes of challenging behaviour. It helps to address underlying needs that left unmet can drive individuals to challenge themselves or others. It ensures that support for people who challenge is positive and consistent and prevents punitive actions.
Working with @redstonepbs we have supported all of our Registered Managers to become PBS Coaches to ensure they have the right skills to understand the functions of complex and concerning behaviours and improve the quality of life for the people we support.
Speech Language Therapy
Many people with autism struggle to communicate with others. While for some this can mean a complete inability to speak, for others it can mean a limited understanding of body language and communication cues.
Speech-Language Therapy is a type of therapeutic support that aims to tackle these issues, be it:
- Strengthening muscles in the mouth, jaw and neck.
- Making clearer speech sounds.
- Matching emotions with the correct facial expression.
- Understanding body language.
- Responding to questions.
- Matching a picture with its meaning.
- Using a speech app on an iPad to produce the correct word.
- Modulating tone of voice.
As is true with many therapeutic processes, a speech therapy programme can be a long one. It begins with an evaluation from a speech-language pathologist. From this evaluation, a set of individualised goals can be defined.
Occupational Therapy – Specialising in Sesory Intergration]
Occupational therapists work with individuals with physical, sensory or cognitive difficulties, to help them achieve and maintain independence. Sometimes, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should. Individuals can be affected in different ways and to varying degrees. Symptoms can include:
- oversensitivity to, or avoidance of, sensory stimulation from touch, noise etc.
- actively seeking sensory stimulation, such as through movement, rough play or big hugs etc.
- lack of awareness of, or slow response to, sensory stimulation.
- difficulty in performing fine or gross motor tasks.
- fluctuating arousal levels and presentations of behaviour.
Shine Therapy has supported Bright Futures Care in the delivery of Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy since 2011. Bright Futures work with Shine Therapy Services to provide informed therapeutic support across our education and care settings. They are a team of highly specialist Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists who offer assessment, review and direct therapeutic support to our young people. They also provide training and support to our staff so that we can develop a collaborative working approach to meeting all the individual’s needs. Therapists supporting these individuals have extensive experience of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, complex learning needs and challenging behaviour. They specialise in the delivery of sensory integration and evidence-based communication therapy.
There are new therapies being developed every day to help with certain challenges associated with autism. While we have noted only a few, it is always worth consulting a doctor or therapist as to any new therapeutic support that might be available.