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Managing Autism

Many children with autism can thrive with early help. No one type of program is best for every child. But many do well with behavioral-educational therapy. And medicine therapy may help. Plus, there are many kinds of support services. There are services for both children with autism and their loved ones.

Boy sitting on man's lap while man talks to healthcare provider.

Behavioral-educational therapy

This type of therapy can help your child learn language and social skills. It can help your child with basic life tasks. This may include learning to cross a street safely or count money.

Children with autism do best with very structured school programs tailored to their needs. Some may do well in a one-on-one or small group setting. Others may do well in regular classes with special support. All children learn best when they are very young. So therapy should begin as soon as your child is ready. Work closely with school staff to develop the best program possible.

Medicine therapy

Some medicines may help treat the behaviors of autism. Medicines can reduce anxiety or treat other symptoms. Your child’s healthcare provider will talk with you about options. Ask about risks and side effects.

Ongoing support

You will likely be able to support your child at home. And there are many services that can help you. At times, your child may need other kinds of support. If needed, a group home or assisted living can be a safe place for your child. Learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This will help you know the services and the legal protection for your child at school and in the community.

Autism can put a lot of stress on a family. It affects each family’s physical, emotional, and financial resources. Ask your healthcare provider about resources that can help support your family. This includes counseling and support groups for both parents and siblings.

Looking ahead

Autism is a complex disorder. It affects the nervous system and a child's development. But each child with autism is unique. Some may have mild symptoms. Others may have symptoms that lessen as they get older. These children often can lead normal lives. Children with autism that is more severe may need ongoing support. With help, children with autism can look forward to better lives.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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