Autism treatment in South Africa
If you look and search the internet for autism treatment in South Africa you will find many different options. Each one of the treatment options has explanations on how each treatment should be used and the level of intensity required for possible recovery. According to health24 autism is treatable by means of synergetic or multi-disciplinary, child specific approach. Autism specific therapies include Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Relationship Development Intervention, Floor time (DIR), TEACCH, Son-Rise and Relationship Developmental Intervention. There are also Rehabilitation programmes available in South Africa. To name a few these include Occupational Therapy and Sensory integration therapy, and Speech therapy. With all this said it is very important to use a child specific approach and to address child specific deficits.
For the sake of this article we will have a look at Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) as an autism treatment in South Africa, because it is far and away the most well-researched and empirically-supported method for autism treatment. What is Applied Behaviour Analysis? It is a research based treatment. In this treatment each Child’s programme is designed to meet the needs of the child as an individual. It is mostly one on one therapy which focus on language, play, adaptive skills, social, executive functioning, motor, and cognitive skills. Under each category ABA aims to equip the child with tools and skills that will promote independence whether the child fully recovers or not. The recommended age to start this treatment is four years with the intensity of forty hours per week. Research shows that children who began at this age and with this intensity made more significant changes that those who did not receive this treatment at all. However with all this said it is never too late for the child to start the ABA programme. Should your child not make full recovery ABA treatment will equip them with skills that will teach them to be independent by breaking down complex tasks into smaller simpler steps.
So how does ABA teach and promote independence? One word REINFORCEMENT. So Applied behaviour analysis therapy promotes independence by teaching the child adaptive skills such as teeth care, feeding themselves as well as preparing their own meal, toilet training, as well as to clean up after themselves. How do we teach these very complex activities? This treatment breaks down complex activities and to smaller steps. While teaching these steps the therapist or instructor will reinforce the child by giving them access to a preferred item or activity every time they give their best to achieve a step. The child then learns that when they give their best they get access to their desired item or activity which then motivates them to do their best and in the process learning and achieving the target in acquisition.
Please visit The Star Academy for your comprehensive solution to autism treatment in South Africa.