Where to Start
Most families use one type of intensive behavioral and cognitive remediation intervention that best meets the needs of their child and their parenting style. Examples of this type of therapy include ABA, RDI, Floortime, The Denver Model and TEACCH, among others. Such treatment requires multiple hours of therapy per week to address behavioral, developmental and/or educational goals.
Additional speech, occupational, vision and physical therapy may be added, as well as a host of complimentary therapies like therapeutic riding, music and art therapy. Many families try special diets, supplements and other strategies often referred to as biomedical intervention, and we have included links to online support groups if you are interested in learning more about how to execute those programs.
Clearly, if you are just starting down this path, these decisions can be daunting. Autism Speaks has developed an invaluable tool they call the “100 Day Kit.” Designed with families in mind who have just received an autism diagnosis for their child, the kit helps families understand what they need to do first to get on-track and access the best resources possible. The information is in PDF form at: http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/100-day-kit
The Colorado Department of Human Services has created an invaluable guide on early intervention for infants, toddlers and families. It can be accessed at www.eicolorado.org
Another valuable source to consult in order to understand the current treatment protocol adopted by most pediatricians is from the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Management of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” — the last link found at the bottom of the page at http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/autism.cfm