Autism Treatment Options
The FUNdamentals of learning program is based out of the Hopetree Clinic and utilises a Verbal Behaviour Analysis approach. The program focuses on core learning skills such as listening behaviour, language, socialisation, and play. The program provides 1:1 training and uses our structured milestone curriculum. Families have the choice of opting for a number of course intensities of 3-5 times per week, and 1-2 hours per session. Each stage of the program is 72 hours which can be completed across a period of time determined by the parents choice of session frequency and duration e.g. 3 sessions per week and 2 hours per session would take 12 weeks to complete. The stages of learning are separated into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Your child's starting stage is determined by our intake skill assessment.
Although considered an outreach program, comprehensive home programs can be provided for those families wishing for that level of service. The programs themselves have a foundation in Verbal Behaviour which places communication at the heart of programs and decision making. Therapists are provided to visit your home and provide the necessary training for your child. Your child's skills are measured and tracked so you can see on-going progress. Consultation is provided so that the therapists can receive on-going training in any program your child requires, while reviewing the efficacy of the support you are receiving and making sure all parties are informed as to the direction of the program. Every program is looked at on a case by case basis, so the number of hours per program will vary depending on the child's abilities and the decisions of the parents.
As part of our out-reach services, we can offer school support for children with Autism. Sometimes referred to as a 'school shadowing', role of the learning support therapist is far more complex. The school program requires a shadow to have a working knowledge of the class curriculum, an ability to differentiate effectively, the ability to work with a multi-disciplinary team, obtain advanced behavioural training, and have an adaptability to a dynamic environment. Our school shadows go through comprehensive training to meet these requirements. Your child and their class environment are assessment for all the necessary skill programs, and on-going school visit consultation is provided to meet the requirements of the school as well as manage the program as a whole.
Speech & Language Training
Speech and Language Trainers (SLPs) work to, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech disorders occur when a person/child has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of disfluency) or has problems with his or her voice or resonance. Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). Language disorders may be spoken or written and may involve the form (phonology, morphology, syntax), content (semantics), and/or use (pragmatics) of language in functional and socially appropriate ways.
Social communication disorders occur when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. These disorders may include problems (a) communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, asking questions), (b) talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and (c) following rules for conversation and story-telling. All individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social communication problems. Social communication disorders are also found individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury.
Cognitive-communication disorders include problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving. These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital.
Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.
As it is common for a child with Autism to suffer from one of the related conditions mentioned above, adding SLP sessions as an auxiliary service to a home or school program is often recommended.