Today, we know a lot more about what it is to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and what that experience is like for people with autism. It is not something that can be cured and there is plenty to embrace. However, having autism can also be accompanied by behaviours that don’t always serve your child with regard to expressing clearly how they truly feel, or expressing robustly how they feel but in disruptive ways (such as in classroom environments). Behavioural Therapy (BT) does not aim to change your child, or diminish their light. It simply offers them tools to help express themselves through responses and behaviours in ways that make life a little easier for them. [pull quote]
What is the difference between BT and BT for autism
Essentially, BT for autism is the same as any other patient going through the therapy. It aims to reframe responses and behaviours to situations, environments and confronting experiences from challenging to productive. However, BT for autism is best applied in younger aged children (from as young as two, and up to 12). This isn’t to say it doesn’t have value in older people, it is just most effective in the younger age group.
Behavioural Therapists for autism are typically specialised in this area, and have a greater understanding of managing stimulant triggers, sensory sensitivities and, as is always the case, approach each patient with a personalised plan.
BT uses learning processes and social interaction as the focus of child development, and teaching new skills to them, rather than focussing on the challenging behaviours themselves. This removes any shame, embarrassment or confusion for the child.
What is the evidence that BT is effective for ASD?
BT as an effective treatment for managing some autism behavioural challenges has been widely studied, with its benefits being particularly noted for young children. In fact, the data strongly supports that children with autism who go through BT between 2 and 5 years old can experience lifelong benefits.
How will my child with ASD benefit from BT?
The biggest benefit is their ability to gain some control over their emotions and behaviours, and how they express themselves, in ways that are productive, positive and offer them confidence. Having a therapist with a deep understanding of how they see, feel and interact with the world around them gives them the opportunity to better understand their own reactions. Having autism does not mean certain symptoms have to be a given, there are ways for your child to gain greater control over the situations they’d like to experience in a more positive way.
BT also works with parents to help everyone be on the same page and facilitate ongoing support to ensure a positive outcome. Behavioural Therapists offer the tools that must be applied at home, and in between sessions to be effective. It is a collaborative effort that results in highly beneficial changes in how your child receives and interacts with the world. Consistency, repetition and reinforcement is vital for success.
Does my child need an ASD diagnosis?
It’s not vital, but it does help. You can utilise our BT service for your child even if they have yet to be diagnosed. Due to our individualised approach, it is the specific behaviours and reactions of your child that we are interested in, and will adjust accordingly. However, if you think your child might have autism, it is in their best interests to seek a diagnosis.
An Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis determines to what extent an individual is on the autism spectrum, and it provides information about their support needs and any emotional or behavioural presentations.
This assessment is suitable for children over two years of age who require an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, or where there have been conflicting opinions expressed by professionals and clarification is needed.