What are Healthy ways to Ground and Balance Asperger and Autism Syndrome?
*This research is paid for by BobCapella.com
Before 2013, asperger and autism, were diagnosed as different mental health conditions, however research has shown that they are of the same mental health category with slight differences.
The recent edition of the standard book used by mental health experts (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder) classified both Asperger and Autism under one broader category called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder does not have an existing cure medically or otherwise, but there are healthy ways and various therapies that can ground and balance the syndrome, by promoting normal behavioral patterns while suppressing the symptoms. These therapies are discussed briefly below.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Applied behavior analysis is the process of employing and applying certain principles which emanates from experimental psychological research to improve on the behavioral pattern of ASD patients. The ABA methods aid in improving desirable and normal adaptive behavior, while suppressing defective behaviors.
The ABA method focuses on the normal behavioral pattern within the immediate environment like home and schools. It also uses proven methods such as the Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Verbal Behavior Intervention (VBI) to improve on the natural and adaptive behavior and enhance the social skills of patients. ABA methods are mostly used by ASD oriented schools and clinics.
Speech -Language Therapy
People with ASDs have difficulty in communicating; it could be pronunciation, articulation, reading or interpretation. Speech-language therapy helps to address the challenges and difficulty experienced by autistic people in verbal and nonverbal communication.
Approaching a speech-language therapist/ pathologist is always the right thing to do. However, to ensure effective results, speech-language therapy should not end at the therapist office. A collaborative effort enhances better and functional communication within the immediate and relative environment.
Speech-language therapy often employs the use of Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) methods such as sign language, picture exchange communication system and speech output devices to enhance communicative abilities.
Social Skills Training
Effective development of social skills for a person with ASD relies more on family than a therapist. While therapy might be of help, it would however not be consistent, and this needs consistent effort.
A recent trial emphasizes the importance of joint attention and symbolic play skills in developing social skills. It is suggested that families can engage in joint attention and other social interactive activities on a daily basis. Encourage them to interact and ask questions. The use of computers and other technology based programs can be utilised to teach and interpret emotions, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
Also, individuals with ASD can join Social skills groups; these groups encourage interaction and enhance the social behavior of people with ASD.
This involves a conscious and consistent training that helps people with ASD develop basic life skills like feeding, bathing and dressing himself. Occupational therapy is effectively done by encouraging imitation while passing out instructions on what to do at the same time.
You can do this by telling them to watch you and imitate you while eating or dressing up. Also the use of videos or picturesque books can be helpful.
Sensory Related Therapy
Research indicates that people with Autism spectrum disorder sometimes suffer from a sensory disorder; this could mean that the person easily gets irritated or upset by touch, bright light or sound. In such cases, therapists make use of materials like squeeze toys, trampolines or other related materials to stimulate the senses.
Use of Pets
There is no definite research as to the extent which pet can help improve and manage the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. However they are great for companionship, and can help develop social skills.
Autism Spectrum Disorder does not have a cure, but it can be reasonably managed with great results through the use of medical and nonmedical resources. Evidence abounds as to the efficacy of the above tried healthy methods and therapy which help to ground and balance the syndrome. Importantly, families of people with ASD are advised to seek professional advice to better guide them on how to care and manage the syndrome.