There are a variety of therapies that are effective for autistic children. Generally, the most successful approach to helping children with autism is behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy is an umbrella term used to describe various types of therapies to treat mental health disorders.
While many people believe that behavioral therapy is meant for children that are disorderly, it is a proven approach and considered the main tool for developing social skills in autistic children. Behavioral therapy is effective and safe and comes with a variety of styles to meet your child's needs.
Here are three types of behavioral therapies to know.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA). This is the most-researched intervention for autism and has been used by professionals for more than 50 years. Applied behavior analysis is a highly structured, scientific approach that focuses on developing play, communication, and self-care. It also focuses on developing academic and social living skills as well as reducing problematic behaviors.
Verbal behavior therapy. This therapy focuses on teaching non-vocal children how to communicate with purpose. The goal of verbal behavior therapy is to move children beyond labeling and learn how to vocalize their requests in order to use words functionally.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is generally reserved for children with milder symptoms of autism. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on defining triggers of certain behaviors, which enables the child to begin recognizing these triggers themselves. With practice, children will be able to learn when they are beginning to present habitual behavior or a mental path, giving them an opportunity to redirect.
Need to find a therapist near you? Check out the Monarch Directory by SimplePractice to find licensed mental health therapists with availability and online booking.