Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulty interacting and communicating with others, repetitive behaviors, limited interest in social activities and difficulty managing a productive home and work life. Although these symptoms are often first recognized during the developmental childhood years, they can also become more apparent when an individual enters adulthood.
There are exponentially more resources available for children with autism spectrum disorder than for adults. Therefore, some research will be required to ensure that your loved one gets access to the most effective treatment program for their individual needs. The most important questions to ask when choosing a treatment center for autism include
· How successful has your treatment program been for other families with an autistic loved one?
· Are the therapies offered at your treatment center individual or group based or both?
· Does the clinical staff set therapeutic goals for each client?
· How will my loved one’s progress be assessed?
· Are there family programs available to show us how to help our loved one continue therapy at home?
· Are your treatment methods evidence-based?
· How long is the average length of stay and how is it determined?
· Aside from behavioral therapy, what social activities does your treatment center offer?
· Do you accept insurance and if so, are you in network treatment provider? If not, what are the out of pocket costs?
For adults, social integration therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective treatment methods for autism spectrum disorder. Social integration therapy uses social activities to change how someone with autism reacts to movement, touch, sight and sound. An autistic person will often display sensitivity when it comes to their senses. Additional therapies that have been proven to be successful in treating adults with autism spectrum disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy and animal assisted therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment method for both anxiety and substance abuse which can often accompany autism spectrum disorder as a co-occurring disorder. CBT aims to help a person improve their thinking patterns, build more confidence and think more positively to achieve more desirable outcomes. When co-occurring disorders are fully addressed, a person will be better equipped to address their autism as well.
Art therapy is best suited for addressing sensory processing disorder which is often present in individuals on the autism spectrum. By completing art projects, the autistic individual is exposed to textures and smells that they would otherwise avoid. Thus, they become numb to stimuli that would formerly hinder their functioning.
Animal-assisted therapy is also an excellent treatment modality for people that struggle with autism spectrum disorder. Animal-assisted therapy is designed to improve cognitive, physical, social and emotional functioning by reducing anxiety and loneliness, increasing verbal and physical interactions as well as by increasing a person’s willingness to become socially involved.
Pasadena Villa offers all of these treatment methods and much more. Our Social Integration Model is a one of a kind modality that intervenes and places our clients in real life situations so that they’ll learn to hone their social skills, life skills and cognitive functioning. Our residential treatment programs are more long term in comparison to other mental health treatment centers which gives our clients more time to make improvements and become more prepared for life after treatment. Our clients also receive individualized treatment plans that are tailored to address each client’s individual needs.
To learn more about our treatment programs for autism spectrum disorder, please call our admissions office at 407-574-5190 or fill out our contact form. Our admissions staff will be happy to answer all of your questions and schedule the first assessment. We currently offer treatment at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Raleigh, North Carolina.