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Where To Seek Help for Autistic Children

December 20, 2023

December 20, 2023

When you suspect your child is autistic or have just received a diagnosis, the next step for any parent or guidance is to seek help or support from professionals. There is no one-size-fits-all support plan for any child with autism spectrum disorder. Instead, the goal is to increase your child’s independence and support their development and learning. With early intervention, your child can learn important social, functional, communication, and behavioral skills to navigate the world more independently. Here are some places to consider seeking support for your little one.

Photo by Gustavo Fring via Pexels

When you suspect your child is autistic or have just received a diagnosis, the next step for any parent or guidance is to seek help or support from professionals. There is no one-size-fits-all support plan for any child with autism spectrum disorder. Instead, the goal is to increase your child’s independence and support their development and learning. With early intervention, your child can learn important social, functional, communication, and behavioral skills to navigate the world more independently. Here are some places to consider seeking support for your little one.

ABA Therapy Centers

An ABA therapy center is a health center that provides professional support to children with autism. Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy is considered the standard treatment and support for autism, as the goal is to help children learn new skills and relearn old ones to live independently.

ABA therapy makes use of positive reinforcement to encourage change in autistic children. The therapist would identify behaviors and teach the child, and with success comes a reward. ABA therapy has a success rate of 89%, so if you’re wondering, “Where do I find ABA centers near me?” a quick search online will yield helpful results that will give your child the support they need.

Family Therapy Centers

Another option for autistic children is a family therapy center where therapists support the whole family in communicating effectively and working through difficult situations. Neurotypical parents, siblings, and other family members can learn how to interact and play with young autistic family members.

With family therapy, parents and children can learn social interaction skills that cater to the autistic child. It can teach the parents and siblings to navigate situations that could trigger the autistic child and also lay out the general skills for autistic children to live independently.

Educational Therapy Centers

You can also help your autistic child with educational therapy. Children on the spectrum might require additional assistance with their education as they respond better to well-structured, routine-based educational programs. Educational therapy centers organize programs with a team of specialists.

The therapy would include activities to enhance communication, social skills, and behavior. It’s always a good idea for preschool children with autism to receive educational therapy, as it would help them navigate the complexities and tensions of school.

Developmental Pediatrician

A developmental pediatrician is a board-certified pediatrician who can diagnose autism and provide guidance on where to find the best support. The pediatrician will evaluate children who aren’t behaving, developing, and learning like peers of their age. If your child’s regular doctor suspects that they have autism, they should refer you and your child to a developmental pediatrician.

ASD can be difficult to diagnose but is usually detected at 18 months old or younger. While no medical tests exist, developmental pediatricians can help diagnose based on social communication issues and any learning difficulties.

Do I Go to a Child Psychologist?

A child psychologist is a doctor who specializes in children’s mental health. You can work with a child psychologist to diagnose and treat autistic children. The psychologist, or psychiatrist in some cases, will provide supportive care and prescribe medication where necessary to your child after the initial diagnosis.

A pediatric or developmental psychologist is trained to diagnose autism and separate it from other related problems. ABA therapy might also include a psychologist, a physical or occupational therapist, and a speech and language therapist.

Pediatric Neurologist

A pediatric neurologist is a pediatrician trained in pediatric neurology; they can treat and manage neurological conditions in children like autism. They diagnose autism by performing neurological testing and developmental motor tests. They will also help parents rule out neurological disorders that might be causing autism-like symptoms.

Pediatric neurologists are usually part of multi-specialist teams that help treat and manage autism at therapy centers.

Local Support Group

Parents and caregivers of autistic children can learn more by joining local autism support groups. In support groups, the members can share experiences, develop strategies, learn about behavioral patterns, and manage their feelings. It provides parents with the support they need when raising their autistic children, as it could be a challenging process.

Communicating effectively with other parents in a support group can also help the children develop coping skills, improve socialization, and learn to share their needs. Group therapy also offers different benefits for autistic children, such as building conversational skills, setting goals, reducing stress and frustration, and managing sensory sensitivities.

Your Child’s School

When looking for a reliable school for your child, consider one that offers complete support for autistic children. Some schools have ABA therapists on standby for children with autism. They also provide visual support, noise-canceling headphones, homework considerations, and handwriting modifications. In general, they consider the unique needs of autistic children and incorporate them into the learning process.

Give Your Child the Best Professional Help

When you suspect that your child has autism spectrum disorder or you have received a professional diagnosis, the next step is to consider where to seek help. An ABA therapy center is often the best option, as it usually includes different kinds of therapists, neurologists, and pediatricians who can help your child. ABA therapy has proven to be a reliable way to support autistic children. You might consider joining a support group and choosing a school for your little one carefully.


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