Therapy & Support

About ASD. Autism Therapies at Home Autism resources

After my son was diagnosed as autistic my main concern was how best to support him. All the usual parenting techniques had not been working. The thing is autistic people think differently so we need to teach and support them with more diversity. Over time we have found variety of methods to teach, play and interact with both my kids that are suited to their needs.

All children will respond to support methods differently and something may work one day and not the next. Here I will share the most commonly used methods / therapies with links to further information on them.

Choosing the right therapies

Make sure you research any therapies you try, there are so many on offer and sadly some are very controversial. Ensure that you fully understand what the therapy entails and is trying to achieve. My post on choosing autism therapies looks at some of the more contentious therapies.

Speech & Language Support

PECs cards

Communication has a huge impact on behaviour, even children with good speech and language skills can have social communication issues. Both of my boys have speech and language difficulties. My eldest (6) is non verbal and uses the Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS) to communicate.

If your child is struggling with communication you can get a referral to see a speech and language therapist through your health visitor, school / nursery or GP. A speech therapist will be able to identify the right support for your child which could include Makaton, PECS, Intensive Interaction.

Attention Autism

Attention bucket fillers

Seeing speech and language introduced us to a great therapy for improving attention: Attention Autism we are big fans of the bucket therapy in particular the attention builders used in stage 2.

Speech Therapy helped us to find motivating items that my kids really want to interact with.

It also showed me the importance of supporting and using special interests and fun to encourage communication.

Visuals

visual aids for autism

I took a while for me to use visual aids properly and wish I had done it sooner. Visuals are a huge support to ensure my kids understand what is happening, where we are going, what is expected or what I am saying. Find out more in my post about using visual aids to support understanding. You may also be interested on my post about creating visuals.

Visuals can also be used to support teaching non verbal children to read with Downs Ed or See & Learn.

Social Stories

social stories

Using Social Stories is a fantastic way to communicate and support children with autism. Social Stories are descriptions with visuals of everyday activities or events. They detail the specifics and what is to be expected in that situation. For older children Comic Strip Conversations may be more appropriate.

Interaction & Play

How we interact and play with our children can make a huge difference. I have been using Intensive Interaction with my youngest and it has really made a difference for him. I have written about the importance of play it really is one of the most beneficial things we can do to engage with our kids.

TEACCH

TEACCH at Home

TEACCH is a teaching method specifically designed for children with autism. This has been brilliant for both my boys.

It provides a routine and structure for teaching that seems to really work for many autistic children. Find out more about using TEACCH at home.

You may want to look at the National Autistic Societies framework SPELL – Structure, Positive approaches and expectations, Empathy, Low arousal, Links.

LEGO® Therapy

Classic Lego Train, Teacch at home

My eldest is a big LEGO fan and LEGO Therapy will be great to support social skills development in the future. For now we use and adapted version designed to support speech and language.

Music Therapy

Music and autism, toy piano, bells, recorder, drum, shaker

There are so many great ways to use music with children, playing instruments, singing and dancing.

Music Therapy has been amazing for both my children, from building confidence to communication skills. Find out more in my post on music and autism.

Reading and Story Play

Room on the Broom game

I started reading to my kids as babies and I was surprised how hard it was to engage them with story time as they got older.

There are some brilliant ways to use stories to get children interested in reading. Along with our favourite books for story play.

If you needs some inspiration here is my top 100 books for under 5’s.

Messy Play

mud

Messy play is a great way to interact and have fun with your children. Many autistic children will be sensory seekers and messy play is a very sense based activity.

If you want some ideas check out my top 7 messy play activities.

Cooking with Children

Cooking with Kids

Cooking or baking is another fun activity with children. The key to support children with communication challenges is using visuals.

See my post with ideas for cooking with children and some printable visuals.

Sensory Diet

Most autistic children have sensory issues, this can be sensory seeking as well as avoiding. You can work with occupational therapists to develop a sensory diet for your child to ensure they are getting their sensory needs met. Here you can find out more about the sensory side of autism.

Rewards

Using rewards with an autistic child

Using rewards can be a great support method to encourage your child.

Rewards won’t work for every child but when they do they can be very helpful.

Therapy and support

There are lots of acronyms and words that may be new to you if you are still learning about autism, this glossary may be helpful.

I have also started to interview various autism professionals so we can learn a little more about the people and their roles who are working with autistic children. See my interviews with Sarah an Educational Psychologist and Jessie a Speech Therapist.

If you want some ideas for how to support autistic children at home you can find some inspiration over on my Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

guide to the top autism therapies

I hope that you have found something here or in the linked information helpful. If you want to sign up to my free monthly newsletter you will get my more detailed printable guide.

Or if you would like a flyer version of the main support therapies you can download this here:

Building Attention

My Building Attention eBook might be of interest. It contains tips on getting attention and 23 fun activities. 

It is designed to support young children that struggle with attention and communication.  Each activity can be completed quickly using household items.

Is there something you would add to this list? Do you have any experience of the therapies and supports listed?

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