No one can let you know everything you must know about autism. This is because autism is just a complex neurological condition that needs some interventions in most aspects of daily life, and each individual with autism can be unique.
Because autism is complex, you may likely need to have a good team of autism professionals to assist you to overcome the various challenges you may experience over time. Besides, you need to make strategic decisions about the type of autism experts who are helpful and relevant in your specific situation. This article explains everything you should know about autism experts.
It’s a good idea to consider autism as a journey instead of an event. In this way, you can easily see that different kinds of autism experts can be helpful at different stages of your life. For instance, you can only require to see a diagnostician for a short time, then you may need to get in touch with various educators and therapists.
Each of these experts has specific knowledge in their fields, though they may lack knowledge about the broader requirements of your child and family. Remember that diagnosticians can know a lot about the literature associated with autism symptoms, though they may not know about early intervention services suitable to the child’s needs.
Some behavioral specialists can teach a wide range of skills, but may not know suitable interventions associated with speech delays. Lastly, some occupational therapists can help your kid overcome sensory issues, but may not have an idea of any interventions associated with speech delays.
Because you or your child can have a variety of needs that change in the long-run, you must have a wide range of professionals. Ideally, when it comes to autism, you are considered to be an expert on your specific child, their strengths, and their needs.
Regardless of whether or not someone recommends a specific therapy, therapist, social skills program, or school, it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you or your child. View here to learn more about autism.
Autism expert for a young child
Many children with autism tend to show some symptoms at about 18 months of age. These symptoms can be quite subtle or very obvious. It means that you can begin meeting with autism experts before your kid turns two years or until they reach school-going age. Either way, you may need to interact with some of these specialists:
Developmental neurologists and pediatricians, speech and occupational therapists, child psychologists, and even school psychologists can be involved in the diagnosis process of autism. Many experts may recommend a multi-disciplinary approach when it comes to diagnosis since most autism symptoms can overlap with other quite different conditions.
Diagnosticians are excellent at finding out if your child is autistic or not, but they may not offer much when it comes to giving specific recommendations as to where to get the kinds of educational resources or therapy you need.
Early intervention experts
If your kid gets diagnosed with autism while still very young, there are good chances that the child can qualify for some early interventions until the age of 6 years. So early intervention experts refer to specialists who get specific training to work with these very young kids and their parents in and outside school environments. Many of these experts may come to children’s homes and can give parental training.
Most early intervention experts are great with children who are on the autism spectrum. However, they may not know a lot once a young child is over the age of 6 years and can no longer get early intervention.
Autism experts for school-aged kids
As you become aware of the child’s needs and all the available options, you will uncover a wide range of autism experts, such as social skills, academics, and special education experts. Each of these professionals has its areas of specialty, and quite a few of them can offer you much information about anything else.
This may be a bit frustrating when you know that you can find specialties even within a single form of therapy. There is no shortcut to this, the only way is to continue asking questions, do research, and attend conferences.
Many schools and even insurance companies provide behavioral therapy for kids with autism. Several types of behavioral therapy are available, such as Pivotal Response Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Verbal Behavioral Therapy. So each form of behaviorist may a little differently and can have slightly different goals and outcomes.
Your child’s behavioral plan can be developed by a qualified behavioral therapist who has an advanced degree, but someone else with a basic certification may offer day to day therapy.
This doesn’t mean that your kid’s therapy will be compromised. You see, many therapists with simple certifications can also be quite skilled. However, it does mean that your kid’s therapist can know little about the various forms of behavioral therapy, or the best therapy that can be ideal for your child. Regardless of the qualifications your therapist has, they may have little information on how to offer non-behavioral types of therapy.
Developmental therapy differs from behavioral therapy as it focuses more on the kid’s emotional responses and intrinsic interests, and less on desired behaviors.
You can find various types of developmental therapies around, and each of these is quite different from one another. The two common developmental therapies are relationship developmental intervention and floortime, but you can also find many others.
Developmental therapists may have training in speech therapy and occupational therapy, meaning they can have a broader perspective of autism than many other autism experts. But if they are focused on just developmental therapy, their knowledge of school programs and behavioral therapy can be limited.
Keep in mind that many kids with autism can work with occupational speech therapists at some point. Many of these children also with social skills therapists and physical therapists. Some people even prefer to get experts in art therapy, sensory integration, recreational therapy, and many other fields.