Treatment of autism

Even if your child hasn’t officially been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, he may still benefit from treatment of autism. If you recognize developmental delays or your child is having behaviour- or skills-related difficulties in preschool or school, it is worth your while to speak to one of our experts at The Star Academy. There are also some ‘red flags’ to look out for in early development:

Red Flags by end of 3 months
Doesn’t follow moving objects with his eyes
Doesn’t grasp and hold objects
Doesn’t smile at people
Doesn’t hold head up independently

Red Flags by end of 4 months
Doesn’t try imitate any sounds

Red Flags by end of 5 months
Doesn’t roll over in either direction (front to back, back to front)

Red Flags by end of 6 months
Doesn’t smile
Doesn’t laugh or squeak

Red Flags by end of 7 months
Seems stiff with tight muscles
Head still flops back when pulled to a sitting position
Refuses to cuddle
Shows no affection towards caregiver/s
Has difficulty in getting toys to mouth
Doesn’t seem to enjoy being around people
Doesn’t respond to sounds (Rule out hearing problem)
Doesn’t try to attract attention

Red Flags by end of 8 months
Doesn’t babble
Doesn’t show interest in peek-a-boo

Red Flags by end of 1 year
Doesn’t crawl or stand when supported
Doesn’t search for hidden objects
Doesn’t say single words, e.g. “mama” or “dada”
Doesn’t use gestures such as waving or shaking head
Doesn’t point to objects or pictures

Red Flags by end of 18 months
Doesn’t walk or walks only on toes

Red Flags by end of 2 years
Doesn’t speak at least 15 words
Doesn’t seem to know the function of common household objects, e.g. hairbrush, phone
Doesn’t imitate actions or words
Doesn’t follow simple instructions
Doesn’t seek to share enjoyment with an adult, e.g. by showing them a toy
Doesn’t point to an item to show it to an adult

Red Flags by end of 3 years
Poor eye contact
Extreme difficulty separating from primary caregiver (or absolutely no anxiety and attachment in separating
Frequent falling or difficulty with stairs
Persistent drooling or very unclear speech (indicative of low muscle tone)
Difficulty manipulating small objects, e.g. picking up a big bead and putting it in a bucket
Little interest in other children (no parallel play)
Difficulty in following new routines or transitioning from one thing to the next
Doesn’t scribble
Doesn’t communicate in short phrases
Doesn’t build a tower of more than 4 blocks
Doesn’t involve himself in pretend play

Red Flags by the end of 4 years
Resists dressing, sleeping and using the toilet
Lashes out without self-control
Doesn’t jump in place
Doesn’t ride a tricycle
Doesn’t grasp a crayon between thumb and finger
Doesn’t show interest in interactive games
Doesn’t respond to people outside of the family
Doesn’t engage in fantasy play
Doesn’t copy a circle
Doesn’t use pronouns correctly

The type of treatment your child receives in the treatment of autism depends on his individual needs. Because ASD is a spectrum disorder (meaning some children have mild symptoms and others have severe symptoms) and each child who has it is unique, there are a variety of options in the treatment of autism.
The typical response of anyone in a school setting is to refer to a speech therapist, occupational therapist, or some other form of therapy. While this recommendation is appropriate, we strongly suggest you explore the option of Applied Behaviour Analysis as your first port of call.
The treatment of autism your child can benefit from most depends on his situation and needs, but the goal is the same: to reduce his symptoms and improve his learning and development.