How can a therapist help the family of the autistic individual?
As autistic individuals tend to rely on their family members for support and caregiving, even well into their adulthood, this can be a cause of stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout for the family members. Family therapy can help the family understand the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), reduce feelings of frustration and burnout, enhance communication and relationships within the family, provide a supportive therapeutic environment, enhance resilience, coping, as well as emotional well-being of family members.
What are some techniques that an autism therapist can use for enhancing social skills?
A therapist may make use of reinforcements for positive behaviours, use roleplaying of social situations to model desired behaviours, engage them in playing games with another member to help them learn about rules and taking turns, and talk about possible social scenarios and ways to respond in advance. A therapist may practice these techniques with the autistic individual in a therapy setting, and/ or invite parents to take it forward at home.
What approaches are used by a therapist for autism treatment?
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is an effective approach that focuses on enhancing the helpful behaviours while reducing the unhelpful behaviours of the autistic individual. It has been shown to enhance communication, vocational, and social skills. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is another approach that focuses on helping the individual change their thoughts that lead to problematic behaviours or feelings in certain situations. It has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety in autistic individuals, and can be tailored to the individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
Is it useful to consult a therapist for autism?
Yes, it can be very helpful to consult a therapist for autism. A therapist can devise a treatment plan involving the parents, teachers, and other important members, which can help the autistic individual in improving their deficits in social, emotional, interpersonal, and occupational functioning.