Evidence-Based Practices For Autism: What You Need To Know

Evidence-Based Practices For Autism What You Need To Know
Finding effective interventions for children with autism can often feel like searching for hidden treasures. But don't worry, here we unveil the secrets to unlocking the potential in every child affected by autism. In this article, we explore evidence-based practices that have proven to be successful in helping children with autism thrive and reach their full potential.

With the ever-growing body of autism research, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the multitude of treatments and interventions available. This article aims to shed light on the most effective and scientifically proven approaches, giving you the confidence to make informed decisions for your child.

Join us as we unpack the secrets and empower you with the knowledge to unlock the potential within every child on the autism spectrum.
Special kid with autism among another on blue and green background

Understanding Autism: What Is It And How Does It Affect Children?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), commonly referred to as autism, is a condition that manifests in early childhood. Its effects can range from mild to severe, making each individual's journey unique. Communication hurdles, both verbal and nonverbal, social skills difficulties, sensory processing issues, and repetitive behaviors are some of the challenges faced by children with autism.

It is important to recognize that autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that individuals with autism can have a wide range of abilities and strengths. While some children may have exceptional skills in specific areas, such as mathematics or music, they may struggle with basic social interactions or communication.

Identifying the condition early and implementing effective intervention is crucial for children with autism. With the right support and evidence-based practices, children with autism can make significant progress in their development and lead fulfilling lives. The key is to understand the individual needs of each child and provide tailored interventions that address their specific challenges.

Evidence-Based Practices For Autism: An Overview

When it comes to choosing interventions for children with autism, it's best to rely on evidence-based practices. These practices are backed by scientific research and are effective in improving outcomes for children with autism. By using evidence-based practices, you can ensure that their child receives the most appropriate and beneficial interventions available.

The National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice (NCAEP) has conducted a systematic review of the cases of individuals on the autism spectrum. It is a continuation of the original review conducted by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC). It provides autism-focused intervention resources for the most effective outcomes.

Several evidence-based practices have consistently shown positive results in supporting children with autism. These include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Stories, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Sensory Integration Therapy, and parent training programs. Other practices include Visual Supports, Technology Aided Instruction, and Functional Behavior Assessment as well. Let's take a closer look at some of these practices and how they can benefit children with autism.
Helping a child to learn

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is often considered the gold standard in autism treatment. It is a systematic and data-driven approach that focuses on differentiating appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. It then analyzes and modifies these behaviors to improve functional skills and reduce undesirable behavior. ABA interventions are highly individualized and tailored to each child's unique needs.

The goal of ABA is to teach new skills and promote organized and adaptive behavior. It uses a variety of techniques, such as positive reinforcement, prompting, and shaping, to teach children with autism social, communication, and daily living skills. ABA interventions are typically intensive, with structured sessions and consistent reinforcement.
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of ABA in improving communication, social skills, and adaptive behaviors in children with autism. It is particularly beneficial when implemented early in a child's development. ABA can be delivered in various settings, including homes, schools, and clinics, and can be tailored to suit the needs of each child.

Functional Communication Training

Functional communication training (FCT) is an evidence-based intervention approach used to improve communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This approach focuses on teaching alternative ways to communicate their needs and wants, reducing problem behaviors that may arise due to communication deficits.

FCT is designed to enhance functional communication by teaching children more appropriate and effective ways to express themselves. This training involves identifying their functional communication goals and developing strategies to teach and reinforce those skills.

One effective strategy used in functional communication training is modeling. Modeling involves demonstrating the desired target behavior or skill for the individual to imitate. In the context of autism, modeling plays a crucial role in teaching functional communication skills.

By observing and imitating the modeled behavior, children with autism can learn how to communicate their needs and wants effectively. Modeling can be done by parents, teachers, therapists, or peers, depending on the specific goal and context.
Workbooks on the table

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Communication difficulties are common among children with autism, and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an evidence-based practice that can help enhance their communication skills. PECS is a low-tech communication system that uses pictures or symbols to facilitate communication between children with autism and their communication partners.

PECS begins by teaching the child to exchange a picture card for a desired item or activity. As the child progresses, they learn to construct sentences using picture cards to express their needs, wants, and thoughts. PECS focuses on developing functional communication skills and empowering children with autism to communicate effectively in various settings.

PECS has been found to increase spontaneous communication, vocabulary development, and social engagement in kids. PECS can be implemented in various environments, including homes, schools, and therapy settings.

Social Stories

Social Stories are a widely used evidence-based practice for fostering social understanding and emotional regulation in children with autism. Social Stories are short, personalized narratives that describe social situations, concepts, or skills in a clear and structured manner. They help children with autism understand and navigate social expectations and norms.

Social Stories typically include descriptive sentences, perspective statements, and directive sentences. They provide information about what to expect in a given situation, how to behave, and why certain behaviors are appropriate or inappropriate. Social Stories can teach social skills, address challenging behavior, and promote emotional regulation.

Research has shown that Social Stories can be effective in improving social skills, reducing problem behaviors, and enhancing emotional understanding in children with autism. They provide a visual and structured format that helps children with autism process information and learn appropriate social behaviors.

Sensory Integration Therapy

Sensory processing difficulties are common among children with autism. Sensory Integration Therapy is an evidence-based practice that focuses on addressing these difficulties and helping children with autism better process and respond to sensory information. Sensory Integration Therapy involves engaging children in activities that provide sensory input in a structured and controlled manner.

Sensory Integration Therapy is designed to assist children with autism in managing their reactions to different sensory experiences, thereby enhancing their participation in everyday tasks. This therapy might include engaging activities like swinging, jumping, exploring materials with varying textures, or the use of weighted blankets. The goal is for the therapist to gradually help the child build up their tolerance and responsiveness to a range of sensory inputs.

Research on the effectiveness of Sensory Integration Therapy for children with autism has yielded mixed results. While some studies have shown positive outcomes in terms of improved sensory processing and targeted behavior, other studies have found limited evidence of its effectiveness. It is important to note that sensory needs can vary significantly among individuals with autism, and a personalized approach may be necessary.
A boy and his father painting with brushes on canvas

Parent Training Programs

Parents play a crucial role in the development and well-being of children with autism. Parent training programs are evidence-based practices that empower you to support their child's development and implement effective strategies at home. These programs provide you with knowledge, skills, and support to better understand and address the unique needs of their child with autism.

Parent training programs typically involve education about autism, strategies for managing challenging behaviors, techniques for enhancing communication and social skills, and support for promoting independence and daily living skills. The National Autism Center provides resources to families for such needs. They may be delivered through individual or group sessions and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each family.

Research has consistently shown the positive impact of parent training programs on children with autism. Studies have demonstrated improved parent-child interaction, parental self-efficacy, and child outcomes. By equipping yourself with the knowledge and skills to support your child's development, you can foster a nurturing and empowering environment for children with autism.

Magrid: Employing Evidence-Based Practices For Autism

Unlocking the potential in every child with autism is a journey that requires evidence-based practices and a holistic approach. By understanding autism, adapting focused intervention practices, and embracing a personalized and tailored approach, we can empower children with autism to thrive and reach their full potential.

Cue Magrid, an award-winning learning solution, that can aid you in helping the learning aptitude children with and without autism. The app provides a scientifically tested pedagogical program that improves early developmental cognitive processes, mathematical, and visual abilities.

Backed by professionals, the app has been tested and validated by experts in the fields of psychology, education, computer science, and neuroscience. Magrid provides over 2,500 effective training activities that can help in educating students with not just autism, but also those with diagnosed dyslexia or hearing difficulties.
Magrid provides an interactive and tactile experience for students while enabling independent learning. The app also reduces sensory and cognitive loads by reducing the screen time of the children through the effective use of technology.

Giving your child an early start in fun math learning is crucial for cognitive development. When it comes to evidence-based practices for autism, Magrid is one of the most trusted ways to help in improving learning abilities. Give it a try today!