Addressing Delays In Autistic Children

by PammyMcB

Imagine having a child that lives in their own world.  Their world is like this bubble that never touches the world that the rest of us live in.  As you may remember from my previous speech, this is a problem that many parents of autistic children face.  You may also remember that according to the national institute of mental heath, one out of every one-hundred sixty-six children are afflicted with autism spectrum disorders.  For more than eight years, my family and I have had many hurdles to overcome because of my son, Damien’s autism.  These hurdles are speech delays, fine, and gross motor skills delays, psychiatric problems, medical problems, social problems, and academic problems.  I will go over the many treatments that we have chosen to bring Damien into our world.

First and foremost is the speech delay.  Without communication skills, autistic children may be left in their bubbles, never able to come out.  My solution to this problem is to find a good speech therapist.  They will test the child and come up with a program to help develop language skills.  This will help parents to poke a small hole in their child’s bubble.

Next, parents will notice other delays such as fine and gross motor skills delays.  I suggest, finding a good facility such as West Texas Rehab to address these problems.  They too will do testing on the child.  Your autistic child may require occupational therapy and physical therapy for these delays.  This will help you to open that hole a bit more.

Now, we must address the psychological problems that many autistic children face.  You may need a team of psychiatric specialist to take care of these problems.  You may need a psychiatrist to administer medications.  However, the child will only see this person once every two to three months.  Because of this, you may also need a behavioral therapist as well to see the child on a weekly basis.  This will help to get that hole in the bubble just a little bit bigger.

Next, you may have to address the many medical problems that go hand-in-hand with autism spectrum disorders.  It is common for autistic children to have epilepsy; therefore a team of doctors may be needed in this area too.  You may need a neurologist, and a good pediatrician.  Many psychotropic medications can cause liver damage so this is a time that parents will have to decide whether to give the child medicationss or not.  This is a decision that parents will have to make alone.

Finally we must address social and academic problems.  According to Dr. Niebelski, Damien’s pediatrician, “it would be more beneficial for Damien to attend public school.  It will be easier for him to deal with his disability if he is able to learn how different people are going to treat him at a young age.”  I agree with him.  I believe that mainstream schooling is very beneficial in helping with their social development.  You may also want to use family counseling.  This can help the child learn what behavior is socially acceptable and what isn’t.  It will also help parents and siblings of autistic children to learn how to cope with the child’s disability.  This final step can open up an autistic child’s bubble so their world can touch ours.

If you address the speech, and motor skill delays, as well as, the psychiatric, medical, social and academic problems, you can open your autistic child up to a happier new world.