I would like to take a minute to discuss the concern that intensive intervention aims to change a child who has autism into some idea of normal. I would offer that normal (whatever that is) should not be the goal of any therapy, intensive or not. The overall goal is to help a child and his or her family realize their unique potential, their unique dreams, and have autism or any other challenge be a gift not a burden. A family may choose not to have research based; intensive, early intervention (usually based on Applied Behavioral Analysis) for their child but every child who has autism should have this option. This option should be a medical and educational given because when it is done well it the most direct path to long term, positive outcomes.
It is so important for families to know about Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). To understand that, for most children on the autism spectrum, it is the path to a bright future. Parents need to know what ABA can do for their children when it is done well and they need to know how to access it. In many states commercial insurance must pay for it. In all states ABA must be made available to those covered by Medicaid or accessing insurance through ACA (Obamacare). I am not saying ABA is the way to go for every child or every family but in every case it should be an option.
I would argue that to minimize or discount ABA for children on the autism spectrum is doing a disservice and in some cases out and out harm by closing the door on possibly the one therapy that could change the trajectory of a young child's life.
For more information about ABA and access to autism specific therapies in your state contact Zoe@BrightFuturesAEI.com or go to www.BrightFuturesAEI.com.
Here is to Bright Futures for all children!