Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Experimental Therapeutic Treatment for Autistic Children

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While very little is known regarding the neurological conditions that would propagate a genetic predisposition to autism spectrum disorder, there exists a wide range of studies and therapeutic practices that encourage pro-social behavioral development and correction in young autistic individuals. Though the jury is out on the decisive, conclusive efficacy of these programs, the results have been promising. Below, we will outline potential routes of Autism Treatment Miami and the effects that they have on behavioral development and risk mitigation in the childhood and maturing processes of autistic individuals.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a promising practice with practically no downside or negative countereffects. In music therapy, a qualified instructor uses singing, movement, instruments, and interactive creativity to boost and bolster the social comfort and mobility of young autistic individuals. Music therapy can positively impact such areas of developmental focus as cognition, motor skills, verbal and nonverbal communicative ability, and social interaction. While research is still being conducted across larger groups of autistic children and with longer time intervals in order to test the longevity of behavioral change, music therapy is a safe and structured opportunity to explore the behavioral adaptations and capacities of autistic children in a judgment-free environment.

Cognitive Enhancement Therapy

Rooted in the exploration of cognitive function and its development in young adults with autism spectrum disorder, cognitive enhancement therapy has been tested across numerous studies with the intention of using computerized training methods as well as group therapy to improve neurological and pro-social cognition.

Research around cognitive enhancement therapy indicates that cognitive ability was enhanced across the board for participants in the relevant studies, at both nine month and eighteen month intervals within the clinical study.

Unlike many forms of therapy for autism spectrum disorder which cater exclusively to children who remain in the period of neuroplasticity and early behavioral development, cognitive enhancement therapy was applied in studies to young adults, and the changes in behavior observed as a result were still definitively beneficial in increasing cognition function and adaptive social behavior.

Recreational Sports

Allowing young autistic individuals to participate in goal-oriented physical activities can have beneficial long-term results, especially in areas including gymnastics, martial arts, bowling, track and field, horseback riding, and dance. While the concrete, tangible effects of recreational sports on the cognitive, social, and behavioral development of autistic individuals has not been established, and has resulted in contradictory conclusions across some studies, physical exercise has been shown to reduce aggression, intrusive behaviors, and anxiety-induced self-stimulatory behavior.

The health benefits of recreational sports are undeniable, but the pro-social aspects of recreational sports are also not to be ignored. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, bowling, and martial arts, can allow for social interaction in an on-task environment, controlling the social interaction within a structured setting which can expand the comfort zone of the autistic individual. In some settings, the peers of the autistic children participating in recreational sports might serve as role models, allowing the autistic individuals to see themselves as equals among their neurotypical contemporaries.

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