If your child has autism, you know their daily struggle too well. Life can get hectic between the difficulty they experience communicating and their struggles with social situations.
It's important to understand that you're not alone, and there are plenty of resources available to you and your child to improve their symptoms.
At Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, our team members are experts in many disorders, including autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Allison Foorobar is our board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist who offers behavioral therapy for your child's needs.
Joining Dr. Foroobar in practice are Dr. Elizabeth Bullard, a board-certified psychiatrist, and Dr. Sarah Gilbert, a licensed clinical psychologist.
Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a developmental condition that affects children and can last into adulthood. Typically, signs of ASD develop by the time a child is three years old, although symptoms can start as early as the first year of life.
There are varying causes of autism, including genetic abnormalities and disorders. Other reasons are not as well understood but also cause changes in your child's brain that lead to various symptoms, including:
- Difficulty communicating
- Avoids eye contact
- Difficulty with social interactions
- Repeats words over and over
- Obsesses certain interests
- Follows specific routines
- Language skills delays
- Difficulty learning
- Unusual emotional reactions
- Lack of fear or more fear than usual
If your child has ASD, you may notice that they act, think, and interact differently than other kids their age. They often have trouble communicating and making friends because of the differences in their development and behaviors, and these can also lead to difficulties in the school setting.
What is behavioral therapy?
Behavioral therapy is one of the cornerstone treatments for ASD. There are different forms of behavioral therapy, each to improve your child's quality of life and better their behaviors.
Our team focuses on many forms of behavioral therapy, including applied behavior analysis or ABA. This therapy revolves around your child's behaviors and how to improve wanted behaviors, and we track their progress throughout the program. Each type of behavioral therapy focuses on a specific aspect of autism.
Other forms of behavioral therapy we may use in conjunction with ABA include the following:
- Pivotal response training
- Discrete trial teaching
- Positive behavior and support
- Early intensive behavioral intervention
- Sensory integration therapy
- Communication interventions
Our team evaluates your child to determine the best behavioral therapy for them. We incorporate different styles of behavioral therapy to improve your child's behaviors and help them learn new skills.
Improving symptoms with behavioral therapy
According to the CDC, behavioral approaches show the most evidence of improving a child's autism-related symptoms. Among the most popular treatment approaches is applied behavioral analysis.
The goal of ABA is to encourage and reward good behaviors while discouraging undesirable behaviors related to autism.
During the ABA process, we also work on improving life skills with your child. These skills include communication, interaction with other children, and controlling emotions. We keep track of each session so you can see the improvements in your child's ASD symptoms.
Behavioral therapy also helps you as the parent figure out what to do during and after your child has a behavioral episode. We work with you and your child to make problem behaviors less common and show you what to do in between outbursts.
Other types of behavioral therapy aim to improve essential skills that help your child with relationships and communication. These skills also improve their behavior by teaching them to deal with situations that pop up socially, encouraging them to problem-solve.
Correcting unwanted behaviors is pivotal to the success of your child with ASD. Behavioral therapy is highly successful for many children, allowing them to live productive lives into adulthood.
To book an appointment with our team for your child, call our office today at 919-446-3232. You can also request a consultation using our online booking tool.