Autism is a neurological condition characterized by deficits in social interaction, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, often with negative social consequences for those affected. Autism affects individuals from any race, ethnic background or socio-economic group.
Sonja Elliott fears her son, diagnosed with autism four years ago, will age out before receiving the support he requires. Core clinical services remain on a waiting list.
Occupational therapy focuses on developing skills and adapting environments in order to assist people in performing daily tasks more easily, from building morning routines to budget management, as well as adjusting assistive equipment such as wheelchairs or prosthetic limbs, or developing strategies for dealing with mental health issues or physical pain.
Occupational Therapists must possess strong written and verbal communication skills in order to effectively collaborate with patients and other healthcare professionals, problem-solve, and think creatively when approaching cases of autism. Interventions like sensory integration training, holding therapy, gluten and milk elimination diets, vestibular stimulation therapy, music therapy are often part of occupational therapy treatments; however some therapies lack sufficient evidence of efficacy for autism treatment.
Physical therapists specialize in this therapy to enhance how the brain processes sensory information and teach new motor skills, often as part of more comprehensive autism treatments such as occupational or speech therapy.
At ACT Learning Centre, an integrated team of therapists with diverse backgrounds and specialties come together to craft tailored autism treatment plans for each client. Their combined expertise helps tailor a multidisciplinary autism approach which encompasses speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and applied behavior analysis therapies.
ABA therapy should be considered medically necessary when the results of an extensive assessment (which includes developmental screening and direct, structured behavioral observation) indicate severe deficiencies in social interaction, communication and restricted interests – this could include autism, Asperger’s syndrome or pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Other therapeutic approaches with limited evidence of effectiveness in treating autism include holding therapy and vestibular stimulation.
ACT’s Speech Language Pathologists specialize in working with preschool and school-aged children to enhance their communication skills. Their extensive experience includes treating conditions like articulation/motor speech disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, disfluency (stuttering) as well as voice and phonology issues.
Strategies exist for improving communication and social interactions, including facilitated communication, holding therapy, gluten/milk elimination diets and music therapy. Other approaches, including auditory integration training and acoustic stimulation training have proven helpful for children with autism spectrum disorder.
The American Academy of Neurology’s practice parameter calls for a thorough assessment of autism to detect abnormal behavior and developmental patterns, using screening tools such as Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2nd Edition and IQ testing; psychological testing may also be recommended.
Autism services ottawa and other pervasive developmental disorders have been treated through various intensive behavioral intervention programs, including operant discrimination learning (Lovaas therapy or Rutgers program) as well as more broad applied behavior analysis approaches such as Denver program.
Sensory integration therapy (SIT) is a noninvasive form of sensory integration training that seeks to strengthen subcortical somatosensory and vestibular inputs necessary for adaptive responses to external stimuli. SIT can assist children with autism to better organize external stimuli as well as develop higher level responses such as self-control and adaptive behaviors.
Behavioral therapy, or BT, is an established means of treating mental health conditions; its success ultimately hinges on both client needs and goals. Therapists using behavioral techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy to treat their clients.
Social Skills Training
Our social skills training is designed to equip your child with the abilities required for successful interactions in groups or classes, including interactions between friends, schoolmates, sports teams or any other activity groups.
At ACT, we employ the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), an intensive early intervention behavioural program utilizing play based principles such as DIR/Floortime. Parent coaching services are also provided to facilitate carryover into home and community environments.
IBI (Intensive Behavior Intervention) is a comprehensive ABA program, typically consisting of 20 hours or more per week of therapy, that specializes in teaching specific skills that will increase the rate of learning and overall developmental trajectory for your child. Families that receive an OAP behavior plan from their local lead organization can opt to enroll.