Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Clinic Notes: Successful Treatment of Autism Depends on Parental Involvement
Many studies have shown that early diagnosis and intensive therapy is the key to the successful treatment of autism. Multiple therapies including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech therapy, occupational therapy, and medication are essential. Parents must not only find a way to pay for these services, but get their children to therapy, which is usually weekly. (Unfortunately, money, or the lack of it, determines what services, if any, a child with autism will receive.) Only a small percentage of parents can afford, or find qualified therapists who will see their child more than once a week. Autism is epidemic and money speaks. Lovaas recommends 40 hours of ABA a week, but who can afford that or find a therapist who will give a single child an entire workweek. So the majority of the therapy--ABA, speech, ot, etc falls to the parent. It's a burden--but one that pays off in the long run.