Last night a wonderful fellow ASD Mum emailed me a list of questions. She is very new to the diagnosed world of Autism and is feeling a little bit lost and overwhelmed.
I have answered her questions in private but she asked a question that I often get asked so I decided to answer it here on the blog for you all.
She asked 'which treatments do I find the most successful'?
Firstly, all children & adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder are all different.
What works for one individual, may not work for another.
You need to find what works for your child.
It is an overwhelming world that needs balance, trail and error and dedication from the parent, community and the child.
Here is my answer:
I believe that the approach to ASD is a holistic approach.
I could not give you one single therapy or treatment that has solely given us success.
By holistic, looking at the entire picture that is your child and what surrounds your child.
Health, environment, community etc.
James for example is a sensory autistic, he is a sensory seeking soul, he seeks out sensory stimulation, this is a daily struggle between getting enough stimulation and going into overload causing meltdowns. James also has an auditory delay and verbal dyspraxia.
When James was diagnosed in February of this year his psychologist told me to build a team around James. She told me you need to limit anxiety, include social interaction, one on one therapies, sensory stimulation, verbal communication support, diet and nervous system support.
It really does take a team. It is beyond a full time job catering to the needs of an ASD child in early intervention.
In James weekly schedule he has sensory integration therapy, speech therapy, soccer training, pre school, sensory activities at home and chiropractic care.
As well as therapy I am a firm believer in gut healing and supporting ASD children through supplementation and diet.
We also limit chemicals in and around our home.
See its a holistic approach.
James has came so far in the last 11months of treatment since his diagnosis, not one thing alone has helped him, its the whole picture.
Speech therapy has aided his communication and speech development. OT has leveled his seeking tenancies, supplementation and diet is supporting the gut/brain connection and chiropractic care is opening pathways throughout his body by supporting his nervous system.
If you ask James what his favourite therapy is he will tell you its 'Lara's school'.
Lara is James' OT.
She has the best relationship with James. He has developed so much the short time he has spent in her care and I can't wait to see their relationship blossom and watch them make milestones together through play.
Its so important to find therapists and treatments that your child responds to. We have had 4 occupational therapists before Lara. James has also had that many speech therapists. Don't stop searching out the best for your child. A good therapist is crucial to your child's development. Once you find that special person, don't let them go!
If you are just starting this journey and don't know where to start with understanding your child and what their needs might be then get yourself a copy of 'The out of sync child'. That was the first book I read when we were diagnosed and I refer to it all the time.
It explains the sensory system, why your child is doing the things they are doing and it gives you a guide to activities, treatments and therapies that may help you on this journey.
I hope I have answered the question for you.
Just do what you can. Think outside the square and don't give up, even when you feel like you are taking 1 step forward and 5 steps back. Just keep climbing, as long as you are climbing you are making progress.