Autism Essay

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According to U.S. Department of Education, the number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) receiving educational services in special education increased over 1300%, from 5,415 to 78,749 children. Autism otherwise known as ASD is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills.(U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011) Although, autistic children will never be cured, there are a variety of different behavior based treatments offered to improve the quality of these children's lives. This essay will present five different treatments offered to help these children live more fulfilling lives. The treatments that will be discussed are Sensory integration therapy, specialized diet plans, medicine, TEACCH, and the most popular is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Sensory integration therapy is based on the assumption that the child is either overstimulated or under stimulated by the environment. The idea of sensory integration therapy is to improve the ability of the brain to process sensory information so that the child will function better in their daily activities. This therapy is done on a one-on-one basis with an occupational therapist in a room designed to make the child want to run and play. In this special room there are many different activities offered to the child to improve their sensory skills. Some examples are swinging in a hammock which is movement through space, dancing to music which is a sound sensation and playing with a variety of different textures feeling and touch. Participants can also crawl through tunnels which uses the touching sensation and movement through space. Spinning on a chair helps with balance and vision, and using a balance beam for balance. Researchers suggest that sensory information received from the environment is critical;

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