Helping kids with Autism

Educating kids is a challenging task at best, in addition coping with kids who are autistic is even more of a challenge as they have numerous challenges affecting communication skills and  developmental processes. It is not possible to always help kids with Autism using a standardized program. Each child will have a different set of skills and performance and a detailed evaluation by a psychologist along with an appropriate program for their growth has to be developed.

Autistic kids are mostly caught in a world of their own. Their patterns of communication and interaction are very different and this has to be borne in mind when interacting with them. There is no cure for autism, although certain kinds of medication help in behavior modification. It is important that these kids have an individualized education program that will enable them to have clear educational goals and also achieve the meaningful milestones in their life over a span of time.

There are differences in the kind of time allotted and the programs that should be designed for individual kids.  One of the most popular techniques used for Autistic candidates is ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis. This involves believing in the fact that rewarding certain behavior brings about repetition of that behavior in the autistic child or adult. This forms the base of all interactions, where the therapist gives the child a certain request or behavior that he or she wishes the child to do and then uses attention or incentives and rewards to get the child to repeat that behavior as and when desired.

ABA sounds simple enough however it requires immense patience and expertise on the part of the instructor. It involves increasing the right kind of behavior, teaching the child new skills, maintaining and generalizing behavior patterns to other situations and most of all reducing interfering behavior such as stereotypy or self injury.

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