While there is no cure for autism, there’s a litany of treatments to assist children in communicating and interacting with their environments.
Many parents naturally sign their kids up for professional treatment, which is a major asset.
However, autism therapy at home can offer a well-rounded approach to giving your child advantages to performing their best at school and beyond.
Benefits of Providing In-Home Therapy for Autism
In-home ABA therapy can provide your child with an array of tools for handling day-to-day situations.
It’s an ideal scenario for teaching skills like getting dressed, going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, and so much more.
Autism therapy at home is essential for a better-rounded approach to giving your child every advantage to perform their best at school and beyond.
It’s also a great environment for helping with sibling interactions and learning to play.
Additionally, your child will be in a natural, safe environment.
As they learn actions at home, they may be more likely to repeat them outside of the home.
Plus, it’s beneficial for parents, too. You and your child will learn how to circumvent stressful situations.
How to Start an In-Home Therapy Plan
The easiest place to get started with developing a plan for autism therapy at home is to learn as much about the subject as possible.
The easiest place to get started with developing a plan for autism therapy at home is to learn as much about the subject as possible. This can include attending classes (either online or in-person), watching helpful YouTube videos, and reading well-researched books.
This can include attending classes (either online or in-person), watching helpful YouTube videos, and reading well-researched books.
Some parents may want to work directly with a trained therapist until they feel comfortable aiding their child independently.
A multi-pronged approach where a child with autism receives support from a therapist and their parents can help build upon skills in the long term.
Types of Home Autism Therapies
In-home ABA therapy can vary significantly from one family to the next.
Some children respond to certain therapies more than others, so try a variety to see what works for your household.
Floortime is the process of joining in on a child’s activities and following their lead. The child decides what to play in whatever manner they see fit, and the parent goes along with it. This is typically done in 20-minute intervals, and it can be done wherever from the living room to backyard.
The goal of floortime is to help parents enhance their circle of communication with their child with autism.
Whether a child is verbal or non-verbal, parents pick up on cues of how the child attempts to relay information, forging greater emotional connections.
Online courses are available to help parents learn how to interact. But there are also professional floortime therapists who can show you the ropes before embarking on your own.
Play therapy is similar to floortime in that it involves getting down and interacting with your child. Many children with autism play alone, repeating certain actions. With your involvement, you can help build greater bonds of social interaction and communication, allowing the child to pursue more novel activities.
Many games are on the table, from bubble-blowing to simple chasing games. As the child gets older and starts becoming more adept, you can begin incorporating games with stronger rules to see how they do.
Playtime is also a great way for siblings to get involved. They can also learn rules and get in on the fun.
3. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
Of the at-home autism therapy activities, PCIT should involve training from consultants, at least initially.
It’s meant for particularly aggressive children who have difficulty leaving the home. It requires parents to instill clear limits on what is and isn’t allowed, defining the parent as an authority figure.
There are generally two treatment phases.
The first consists of building warmth in the relationship with your child.
Of the at-home autism therapy activities, PCIT should involve training from consultants, at least initially. It’s meant for particularly aggressive children who have difficulty leaving the home. It requires parents to instill clear limits on what is and isn’t allowed, defining the parent as an authority figure.
This involves learning skills to make them feel calm and secure in their relationship with you.
The second involves challenging your child’s behaviors.
Remaining calm and confident is of the utmost importance so that your child learns to work within your boundaries.
4. Relationship Development Intervention
RDI is another therapy technique that is good to get consultants on-board at first.
It’s designed for parents to help their children develop social communication skills.
It focuses on activities that require the child to think in less rigid structures to better handle social situations.
They learn how to cope, even if something is unfamiliar.
The difference between something like RDI and floortime is that the parents take the lead in RDI.
There are certain activities and goals the child must go through, which may be challenging when getting started.
5. ABA Therapy
Many professional therapists specialize in ABA therapy, but parents can incorporate it at home, too. The basic idea behind applied behavioral analysis therapy is that tasks are broken down into simple steps.
At home, this could involve going over activities in easy-to-define steps. For example, if you wanted to show your child how to brush their teeth, you would begin by locating the toothbrush. From there, you would show how to wet the brush, apply the toothpaste, and so forth. Praise should be given at each successful milestone so that the child is not overwhelmed with the task.
This may involve going over one step repeatedly until your child is comfortable with it. From there, you can move onto the next.
6. Speech Therapy
Speech therapy can be incredibly complex. Professional therapists can help children learn to communicate whether they’re verbal or non-verbal, and parents can take part in this. This include learning how to communicate with the child through pictures, gestures, and signs.
There are courses parents can take to become more proficient in this field. Guidebooks and DVDs are a good starting point.
Similarly to ABA therapy, praising and rewarding children for each incremental step is fundamental. Even if it merely involves a limited vocabulary, it can make the bond between parents and child all the stronger.
1. How can I treat my autistic child at home?
For parents who don’t know where to start with autism therapy at home, speak with a professional. Some children may benefit from certain therapies over others. There’s also a breadth of resources from videos to books to provide pointers on how to best connect with your child on their level. Once you come up with a plan, work with your child consistently so that lessons learned remain integrated.
2. What type of home therapy is best for autism?
The best at-home therapy for children with autism depends on the specific needs of your child. You may find that floortime and play therapy are probably the easiest to incorporate without getting consultants involved. However, other methods can also be important.
3. How do I choose a home therapy plan for my child?
Speak with a trained therapist. They will be able to provide further guidance on what areas your child needs most, and they can direct you toward resources so that you can get the most out of at-home therapy.
Spending many hours a week at a therapist’s office is one thing, but at-home therapy can help instill lessons for your child that can help them now and far into the future… Some forms of at-home therapy may take longer than expected– be easy both on yourself and your child.