There’s a great deal written about how children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) cope with their disability outside of the home. Although ASD does present definite challenges in social and educational situations, it doesn’t take the rest of the day off. Autism is always present and active, especially at home.
In many ways, the home is a child’s first classroom. It’s where they learn to walk, talk, eat, use the bathroom, and a host of other crucial self-care and social behaviors. As such, the home is often the perfect setting for a child receiving autism therapy.
In-Home Treatment for Autism
Regardless of the age of your child, working with them at home provides numerous opportunities for growth and learning. Plus, the home environment offers comfort and familiarity that is not found elsewhere, which helps your child stay calm and focused on learning activities.
Home care treatment for autism can begin as soon as the child starts to show signs of ASD and services are recommended by a medical professional. The sooner the intervention begins, the better. Studies show that early intervention has more impact on future quality of life than any other single factor. If you suspect your child needs help, you should be proactive in getting your child help whether that means setting up a doctor’s appointment or exploring intervention options with service providers. In some states (NY and CT, included), an autism diagnosis is necessary before insurance-covered therapy services can begin. Regardless, starting the process of seeking treatment as early as possible can make a world of difference.
Benefits for Parents
In-home treatment for autism has benefits for parents as well. Perhaps the most immediate return comes from the relief parents feel having another person on-hand who understands their child’s needs and is equipped to tend to them. In addition, having an autism specialist working in-home allows parents to learn new skills and techniques for managing their child’s needs. Parents or guardians play the most important role in any child’s life. This is especially true for children with ASD. With in-home therapy for autism, parents are easily able to actively participate in the therapy themselves. It is critically important that parents are as involved as possible to ensure that the therapies and interventions are being reinforced when the specialists are not with the child. Parent training helps primary caregivers instruct their youngsters in areas like communication, socialization, imitation, play, adaptive skills, and disruptive behaviors. Lastly, although not the main focus, in-home therapy can sometimes provide parents with much-needed rest and “me time.”
How Does It Work?
When working with a child in the home, it’s always recommended to assess the child first to determine their unique talents, areas in need of support, and other unique traits. Much of home care treatment for autism is based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which is widely considered the best method for addressing the challenges of ASD.
ABA typically involves multiple stages. These include:
- A functional behavior assessment (FBA)— conducted by a trained specialist called a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and based both on questions directed to parents about strengths and challenges, as well as observation and interaction with the child
- A formal treatment plan—created from the information collected in the FBA, aimed at achieving definite goals and outcomes of treatment
- Parent training—provided to parents and other caregivers to assist with everyday living as well as to help reinforce behaviors addressed in therapy
- Re-evaluation—the treatment plan is continually tweaked and re-assessed as new information and data is gathered during the treatment sessions to ensure optimal outcomes
The spectrum of ASD behaviors is broad, and finding the right treatment for your child can be challenging. If you’re considering in-home treatment for autism, we encourage you to reach out to us. At Ascend Autism, we can help create a custom, in-home treatment program specifically tailored for you and your child. For more information, please call us at 877.323.8668.