Autism and other similar diagnoses are becoming more prevalent among children today. Now there are many treatments available to help children with autism, including physical therapy. However, sometimes it can be difficult to spot this problem in a child. If you suspect your child may be autistic, it is important to know what to do for them.
Talk to the Pediatrician
The first step is to talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns. There are a lot of misperceptions about the signs of autism. For instance, repetitive behavior can be a sign, but many children repeat activities as a method of learning. Lining up their cars to perfection is also an often misperceived sign. Your pediatrician will know what to ask and how to determine if you should seek additional help.
Create a Sense of Structure
Autism is a spectrum of disorders, which means that no two autistic children act the same way or need the same treatments. While physical therapy treatment may be right for one child, another may benefit from intellectual activities. The most important thing these children need is a sense of structure. Create a schedule so your child always knows what to expect. Rewarding good behavior can also contribute to structure.
Establish a Personalized Plan
When you create a treatment plan for your child, it is important to consider his or her unique needs. Physical therapy is a great option for those who are struggling with physical tasks. Other children may need occupational, speech, behavior and nutritional therapies. In fact, sometimes changing the way a child eats can have a significant impact on behavior and the ability to manage life’s simple tasks. Make sure you discuss all options with your child’s doctor, including a child psychologist if possible, to find the right treatments.
It is scary to consider your child may suffer from an autism disorder. A diagnosis of autism may feel like the end of the world, but with the right support, your child can live a full life. If you suspect your child may be autistic, it is important to talk to the pediatrician as soon as possible. The sooner physical therapy treatment and other therapy services begin, the easier the diagnosis will become.
If you need physical therapy for an autistic child, contact us. Our White Plains therapists have the experience necessary to work with all types of children.