When I was very young and lived in Brooklyn, NY, I received early intervention services and various kinds therapies. I had them every single day, seven days a week! Plus, I still had some therapies throughout my education in NJ. I would not be where I am today if my parents did not get me the therapies and services that I needed. The following below are the different types of services and therapies for individuals living with Autism:
Early Intervention Services: services and supports that are provided based on the individual’s disability.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy: therapy that helps individuals learn which behaviors are helpful and behaviors that are harmful or affect learning. Can be adapted to meet the needs of each unique person. Provided in many different locations – at home, at school, and in the community. It teaches skills that are useful in everyday life, and can involve one-to-one teaching or group instruction. Different kinds of reinforcements and consequences are implemented to teach behaviors that are helpful.
Occupational Therapy: Helps individuals work on various skills: cognitive, physical, social, and motor. usually involves half-hour to one-hour sessions. The number of sessions per week is based on individual needs. In the sessions, they focus on play skills, learning strategies, and self-care. It can also help to manage sensory issues.
Speech Therapy: addresses challenges with language and communication. It does help all levels of communication: from verbal to nonverbal to social. The goal is to help the individual communicate in more useful and functional ways.
Physical Therapy: activities and exercises that build motor skills and improve strength, posture, and balance. It helps the individual gain and build muscle control.
Music Therapy: helps improve skills in various areas: communication, social skills, sensory issues, behavior, cognition, perceptual/motor skills, and self-reliance or self-determination. Music experiences are connected with the particular individual to help the individual develop personal connections and build trust.
Art Therapy: helps with sensory simulation, develop interpersonal/social skills, relieve feelings of anxiety and stress, develop creativity, increase self-esteem, develop motor skills, and develop sense of self.
The main goal of all of these services and therapies is for the individual to gain their own independent life. It is personalized to the needs of the individual.