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Autism - Research Paper Example

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Interventions in the Treatment of Autism Introduction Autism is defined as a developmental disorder which adversely affects verbal and nonverbal communication, causing a detrimental influence on social interaction, on educational performance, and in relating to other people…
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Download file to see previous pages... Autism is not one specific condition, but refers to a group of disorders with disparate underlying etiologies (Corbier, 2005). Hence, treatment for autism is multidimensional, including behavioral management, individualized education plan, medical treatment, psychoanalytic therapy, and rehabilitative therapeutic strategies, together with patience, faith and belief. Integrated treatment plans focus on preparing people with autism to live in their home community in the least restrictive environment (Hardman et al, 2007). Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the current treatments for children with autism, and determine their effectiveness. Behavioral Management as a Treatment Intervention in Autism Behavioral interventions aim to improve specific appropriate behaviors, or to lessen inappropriate behavior (Hardman et al, 2007). This approach is commonly considered to be the most effective in treating autism in children. A research study was conducted by Sallows and Graupner (2005) on twenty-four children with autism, aged between 24 to 42 months at the beginning of the study. They were randomly assigned to early intensive behavioral treatment, and to treatment involving intensive hours but less supervision by equally qualified supervisors. The results were similar for both groups, after four years of multidimensional treatment including cognitive, language, adaptive, social and academic measures. This indicates that supervision by trained staff is not an essential criterion for improved behavioral outcomes, when the same intensive treatment is given to both the study sample and the control group. By combining the two groups, it was found that the results were optimized, and by age seven the children could adapt themselves to mainstream classrooms. However, pretreatment skills played a significant part in determining the success of the interventions, particularly verbal imitation ability, language and social responsiveness. Lovaas (1993) discovered that early identification of the environmental variables that controlled the extent of treatment gains, was essential. Effective treatment for severe behavioral disorders requires early intervention which is conducted throughout the child’s waking hours, while taking all significant behaviors in all the child’s environments into consideration, by all significant persons caring for the child, and for many years. Research on early intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism was conducted by Cohen et al (2006) in the community setting, to replicate earlier studies which had shown favorable results. The three-year prospective outcome study using a quasi-experimental design consisted of the sample group of 21 children which received early intensive behavioral therapy (EIBT) from a community agency, and the other control group of 21 children who of equal age and IQ as compared to the first group, and belonging to special education classes at local public schools. The results showed marked improvement in language, nonverbal skill, and adaptive behavior; hence early intensive behavioral therapy can be successfully undertaken in the community setting. Individualized Education Plan and Educational Interventions “Early intervention and a highly structured education program are currently regarded as the best treatment for chi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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