My son has developed new behavior problems on top of the usual ones we have. He just turned four and has now started being rough with others not just himself. I have him in speech, occupational and physical therapy already. Will behavioral therapy help the behaviors? Or am i just putting him in too much therapy adding that to the mix and he might not do well in the other therapies. I have not been able o find a place that offers it yet and someone told me they… read more
Because ASD affects different areas (speech, communication, behaviour, sensory integration, social interaction, etc.), a treatment plan often employs many different therapies. We've found behavioural interventions (ie. ABA) to be beneficial. Oftentimes, it's the behaviours that impede the other therapies (ie. speech, OT) from being fully effective.
We have done more than a year of VB/ABA and though it was very helpful with respect to all lot of verbal skills and some behaviors, I didn't find it particular useful for improving social skills. You can try behaviour approach for some behaviors and hopefully more speech, but I would also looking into programs/books such as Talkability and Relationship Development Intervention which are more parent based and focus entirely on social communication. We are doing that now and wish we had started that at the same time as ABA last year.
If you feel he is stressed because of his heavy schedule, it may help to be sure that you spend a little time every day playing with him to allow him some safe haven to release negative emotions. See Playful Parenting, Floortime model and RDI (mentioned above).
Honestly I would focus my time and money on behavior therapy over the other therapies if you feel you have to choose. ABA will help them stay in task, communicate more effectively and be more ready to learn. A child who can't follow simple directions isn't going to get the optimal benefit out if the other therapies until they can.