If your child is diagnosed with autism, you may not know where to start. If you are lucky, your physician will have some suggestions and your child’s teachers will have some suggestions. Beyond that, you will likely turn to your neighbors, books, and the internet. piezowave 2
As you read and talk with others, you will likely quickly realize that no one therapy works for all children. While many children with autism are able to improve with therapy, there is no magic cure.
So, acknowledging that all children are different, your best shot is to look closely at your child and at your family and try the therapies that are most likely to make a difference and that are the most realistic for your family. Since many autism therapies are poorly studied and none are proven 100% effective, you cannot afford to rely solely on science-based evidence. Instead, I suggest that you begin with the therapies that are most commonly used by families with children with autism. While there is no guarantee that these therapies will work for your child, it does suggest a level of acceptance in the autism community.
The top 12 most commonly used autism therapies are:
- Speech and language therapy (used by 70% of parents)
- Visual schedules (used by 43.2% of parents)
- Sensory integration therapy (used by 38.2% of parents)
- Applied behavior analysis therapy – ABA (used by 36.4% of parents)
- Social story therapy (used by 36.1% of parents)
- Vitamin C (used by 30.8% of parents)
- Vitamin B6 and magnesium (used by approximately 30% of parents)
- Essential fatty acids (used by 28.7% of parents)
- Picture exchange communication system – PECS (used by 27.6% of children)
- Casein-free diet (used by 26.8% of parents)
- Gluten-free diet (used by 23.1% of parents)
- Vitamin A (used by 22.0% of parents)
Consider these therapies first. Consider the pros and cons for your family if you were to adopt these therapies. Is the therapy too expensive to be realistic for you? Is the therapy inaccessible for your family? Is the therapy too complicated for your family structure? Be realistic. If a therapy will put undue stress on your family, try the next therapy down the list.