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Discovering What Works When Dealing with Autismfrom: Maxx Family Life
Dealing with autism as with any disorder, requires you to know and understand a number of different treatment options for yourself or your child. These treatments include educational, behavioral, biomedical, nutritional and sensory. For too many patients, especially those who aren't affluent or don't have medical insurance, the cost may very well be higher than they can afford.
The best way to ensure your child is getting the best possible treatment for autism is for you to carefully monitor all the effects a particular treatment has over time. Determining which treatments work and which ones don't, will help you figure out which ones you can stop paying for and enable you to put more of your money into those creating the most positive improvements.
Start by evaluating the abilities of the autistic person before treatment begins. To do this, you should obtain from one of the services and organizations, including the Autism Research Institute, a checklist of evaluation points that focus on behavior and illnesses associated with autism. Autistic persons tend to gain increasing functionality as they mature, so keep in mind that some of the positive effects in his or her life are simply due to the natural growth process.
After two months, however, you should fill out the checklist again and in order to compare it to the first. Are there any sharp positive increases in behavior characteristics? If so, this is more likely due to the treatment.
It's important that you start one treatment method at a time since trying them all at the same time could result in good and bad effects cancelling one another out. Even if the effect is totally positive, you won't know which treatment caused it and which aren't effective. It's possible past studies might help you decide which methods to use, but since autism is a very complicated and individual disorder, these studies may not be much help. Also, keep in mind that some treatments may be so new, the studies done are only on short-term effects, which isn't going to help much for long term decision making. Rather, it's a process of trial and error.
Two months is usually enough time to study the differences within an autistic individual trying a new treatment. After two months, if you don't see a positive improvement, discontinue that specific method and adjust to better invest in treatment options that work.
However, you don't always have to wait two months decide whether you should continue or discontinue a treatment method. If the side effects of a medication, for example, are interfering with the patient's life in an unbearable manner, then discontinue the treatment. You can also make continual treatments based on immediate good reactions -- but remember to continually monitor each methods.
People with autism grow and mature like everyone else, so treatments may stop working after time. If you're planning on trying something new, it's a good idea to consult your doctor to make sure you're being as safe as possible.
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