Treatments

A person with ASD can often benefit from behavioral, psychological and educational therapy, including skill-building programs where the person learn and develop useful life-skills. These types of treatments must of course be tailor-made for the individual, taking into account aspects such as age and current development level.

Tailor-made ASD training programs can be a great way to:

  • Become more independent by learning useful life-skills
  • Boost strengths
  • Become better at coping with problematic behaviors and emotions
  • Learn more about social interaction and communication, and put these new skills into action

In some cases, the treatment programs involve not just the person with ASD but also family members.

Medications

medicationThere is no medication that will cure or treat ASD, but certain commonly occurring symptoms can, in some cases, be successfully managed with medicine.

Examples:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Attention deficits
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability

The ATEC check list

The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) is used to monitor how a person diagnosed with autism is doing over time, i.e. to evaluate how useful a treatment is or to see if a child needs additional support in certain areas. This distinguishes it from tests and scales developed to detect and diagnose autism, such as the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (GARS), the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), or the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC).

ATEC, which was created by Bernard Rimland and Stephen M. Edelson at the Autism Research Institute, consists of a one-page form that is intended to be completed not by the diagnosed individual but by parents, teachers, or caregivers.

ATEC is comprised of four subsections:

  • Speech/Language Communication (14 items)
  • Sociability (20 items)
  • Sensory/ Cognitive Awareness (18 items)
  • Health/Physical/Behavior (25 items)

Subscores and total score for an individual can be monitored over time, to notice changes. A lower score than before indicates an improvement. A higher score than before indicate that things have gotten worse.

ATEC is also used by researchers to evaluate treatments.