Many treatment programs will include techniques to deal with the behavioral manifestations of autism. Some programs focus on inappropriate or challenging behaviors. These programs may include different types of behavior techniques meant to determine the cause of the behaviors and/or replace them. Other programs may be based on learning new skills such as communication or object recognition. Intensive behavior programs or Lovaas type (40 hours of one on one therapy a week) programs may incorporate both the acquisition of new skills and the replacement or extinction of a behavior. Behavior programs may be carried out across home, school and work environments. Contact your ASA office if you would like to discuss questions concerning behavior.
One of the main areas affected by autism is an individual's ability to communicate. Many treatment programs include methods to increase communication skills. Depending on each child's needs, speech therapy may focus on acquiring language skills or teaching sign language. Communication aides, such as electronic communication devices (sometimes called "augmentative devices") or picture communication boards, may be used to help a person with autism communicate more effectively. In some cases, speech therapy may include a combination of these and other methods. To determine the communication needs of your child, you may want to seek an evaluation from a speech language pathologist with knowledge of autism.