As we’re starting to near the end of this series, I’m realizing just how much I didn’t cover. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I plan on making additions to this series so I can cover everything that I didn’t get to with the initial run through. I hope that you will continue to join me for those. And for today, we’re going to talk about the types of therapies available for autism because T is for Therapy.
As a part of her schooling, Sweet B receives: Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, and Music Therapy. After her initial diagnosis, she received physical therapy as well but has since outgrown the need for that. Music therapy has been one of the most effective in terms of increasing her attention to task, social skills, and communication. In fact, next year will be the first time that she won’t receive individual music therapy as they have determined that it is no longer necessary for her to receive it. She will continue to receive group music therapy to continue working on social skills, attention to task, and communication.
And those are just a few types of therapies available for autism, depending on where they are.
Some of these therapies may take place in the home during early intervention years or if you are homeschooling. Some of these therapies may take place at a designated center or medical office. And some of these therapies may take place in a school setting.
But how do you get these therapy services and how do you determine what your child needs?
Usually, this is determined when you have your IEP (Individualized Educational Program) meeting.
Other therapies may include: swimming, horseback riding (hippotherapy), art therapy, ABA (applied behavioral analysis), or sensory integration therapy.
The most common types of therapies that individuals with autism receive are: speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Sensory integration usually occurs throughout the school day, or might be integrated with occupational therapy.
- self-help skills or adaptive living (e.g., eating, dressing);
- functional mobility (e.g., moving safely through school);
- positioning (e.g., sitting appropriately in class);
- sensory-motor processing (e.g., using the senses and muscles);
- fine motor (e.g., writing, cutting) and gross motor performance (e.g., walking, athletic skills);
- life skills training/vocational skills; and
- psychosocial adaptation.
These services generally address a child’s posture, muscle strength, mobility, and organization of movement in educational environments. Physical therapy may be provided to prevent the onset or progression of impairment, functional limitation, disability, or changes in physical function or health resulting from injury, disease, or other causes.
Speech-language pathology services are provided by speech-language professionals and speech-language assistants, in accordance with state regulations, to address the needs of children and youth with disabilities affecting either speech or language.