Autism Interventions Summary

The number of interventions proposed for children with autism is large and can be overwhelming for families and professionals alike. Some approaches are well supported by good research, while others gain support through reports of successful use by individuals.

Here I’ve listed some of the most commonly cited interventions. It is important to bear in mind that none of these approaches have been shown to be effective for all children with autism. Finding out which approach works best for any particular child is not easy. More detailed summaries of these approaches can be found on the NAS website.

Behavioural Approaches

  • Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
  • Lovaas Method

Complimentary therapies

  • Autism assistance dogs
  • Dolphin therapy

Diet and vitamins

  • B6 and magnesium supplements
  • Fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6)
  • Gluten-free/Casein-free diet

Medical Intervention

  • Serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (medication or dietary)

Physiological Interventions

  • Auditory Integration Training

Relationship-based Interventions

  • Son-Rise

Service-based Approaches

  • Daily Life Therapy – Higashi
  • SPELL
  • TEACCH

Skills-based Approaches

  • Makaton
  • Picture symbols
  • Social Stories and Comic Strip Conversations
  • Social use of language (SULP)
  • Visual supports

Standard Therapies

  • Counselling
  • Music therapy
  • Speech & Language therapy
  • ‘Strategies for tuning into autism’

Technological Intervention

  • Computers
  • Light & Sound Therapy Centre
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