Determining where to turn to find treatment for your autistic child can be daunting especially if you are a new parent to an autistic child. The early days of treating Autism, after all, has a scary history. In the 1960s and 1970s, research focused on drugs like LSD, electric shock, and behavioral change techniques that used pain and punishment as a means for treatment.
During the 1980s thru the 1990s, behavioral therapy and controlled learning environments became the primary treatment forms of autism. Currently, a significant method among the various treatments for autism is Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). The primary focus of ABA is on a skillful form of teaching. The objectives of intervention are to teach your child the skills that will promote his development and give him the greatest degree of independence and quality of life possible. It is also important to note that these techniques are individually designed for each child.
As new methods of treating children with autism emerge, so do the requirements and skill sets of the practitioners. Parents and caregivers should be aware that there are now certification requirements for special education educators, social workers, caregivers and even physicians that validate their qualifications to treat autistic kids as a certified autism specialist.
As a parent looking for the best possible treatment options for your child, it would be prudent to ask physicians specifically about their experience treating kids with autism and if they are certified through The American Medical Autism Board.
As for other providers, ask them about their qualifications and certification as an autism specialist through boards such as The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, The Board of Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst and The Board Certified Behavioral Analyst.
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