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Therapy and Treatment Options.

Click the buttons below or scroll through this page to view the Hillborough County and Tampa Bay area resources related to Autism treatment and therapy options.

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Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior.
ABA therapy applies our understanding of how behavior works to real situations. The goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful or affect learning.
The methods of behavior analysis have been used and studied for decades. They have helped many kinds of learners gain different skills – from healthier lifestyles to learning a new language. Therapists have used ABA to help children with autism and related developmental disorders since the 1960s.
When a behavior is followed by something that is valued (a reward), a person is more likely to repeat that behavior. Over time, this encourages positive behavior change.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior.
ABA therapy applies our understanding of how behavior works to real situations. The goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful or affect learning.
The methods of behavior analysis have been used and studied for decades. They have helped many kinds of learners gain different skills – from healthier lifestyles to learning a new language. Therapists have used ABA to help children with autism and related developmental disorders since the 1960s.
When a behavior is followed by something that is valued (a reward), a person is more likely to repeat that behavior. Over time, this encourages positive behavior change.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupational therapy (OT) helps people work on cognitive, physical, social, and motor skills. The goal is to improve everyday skills which allow people to become more independent and participate in a wide range of activities.

For people with autism, OT programs often focus on play skills, learning strategies, and self-care. OT strategies can also help to manage sensory issues.

The occupational therapist will begin by evaluating the person's current level of ability. Occupational therapy usually involves half-hour to one-hour sessions. The number of sessions per week is based on individual needs.

The person with autism may also practice these strategies and skills outside of therapy sessions at home and in other settings including school.

Some OTs are specifically trained to address feeding and swallowing challenges in people with autism. They can evaluate the particular issue a person is dealing with and provide treatment plans for improving feeding-related challenges.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Occupational therapy (OT) helps people work on cognitive, physical, social, and motor skills. The goal is to improve everyday skills which allow people to become more independent and participate in a wide range of activities.

For people with autism, OT programs often focus on play skills, learning strategies, and self-care. OT strategies can also help to manage sensory issues.

The occupational therapist will begin by evaluating the person's current level of ability. Occupational therapy usually involves half-hour to one-hour sessions. The number of sessions per week is based on individual needs.

The person with autism may also practice these strategies and skills outside of therapy sessions at home and in other settings including school.

Some OTs are specifically trained to address feeding and swallowing challenges in people with autism. They can evaluate the particular issue a person is dealing with and provide treatment plans for improving feeding-related challenges.

Speech Therapy (st)

Speech-language therapy addresses challenges with language and communication. It can help people with autism improve their verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. The overall goal is to help the person communicate in more useful and functional ways.

Communication and speech-related challenges vary from person to person. Some individuals on the autism spectrum are not able to speak. Others love to talk, but have difficulty holding a conversation or understanding body language and facial expressions when talking with others.

A speech therapy program begins with an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to assess the person’s communication strengths and challenges. From this evaluation, the SLP creates individual goals for therapy.

Speech Therapy (st)

Speech-language therapy addresses challenges with language and communication. It can help people with autism improve their verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. The overall goal is to help the person communicate in more useful and functional ways.

Communication and speech-related challenges vary from person to person. Some individuals on the autism spectrum are not able to speak. Others love to talk, but have difficulty holding a conversation or understanding body language and facial expressions when talking with others.

A speech therapy program begins with an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to assess the person’s communication strengths and challenges. From this evaluation, the SLP creates individual goals for therapy.

Physical Therapy (PT)

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that affects how people experience the world. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives, while others need less.

Symptoms of ASD vary from mild to severe. Children with ASD can have delays in developing basic skills. For example, some children with ASD can speak. Others may communicate in other ways or have trouble connecting with others. People with ASD also may restrict their behaviors or have repeated behavior patterns. Often, there is a delay in forming motor (movement) skills. Coordination and posture control also are areas where some children with ASD may need help. Copying the actions of others may be hard for some autistic people.

Physical Therapy (PT)

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that affects how people experience the world. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives, while others need less.

Symptoms of ASD vary from mild to severe. Children with ASD can have delays in developing basic skills. For example, some children with ASD can speak. Others may communicate in other ways or have trouble connecting with others. People with ASD also may restrict their behaviors or have repeated behavior patterns. Often, there is a delay in forming motor (movement) skills. Coordination and posture control also are areas where some children with ASD may need help. Copying the actions of others may be hard for some autistic people.

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Autism Friendly Water Activities

Aqua therapy can be extremely beneficial for those with Autism. Click the button below for the research article about aquatic therapy (“AT”) and Autism.

The Special Olympics

The Special Olympics is celebrating 50 years in 2022! Click the button below to view their website for more information, upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

At High 5, INC You Will Find:

Equine Therapy

In previous research in 2015, involving 127 participants with ASD, a team led by Robin Gabriels found that children participating in a 10-week horse therapy program exhibited improvements in irritability and hyperactivity as well as increased word fluency compared to children participating in activities in a barn setting but not interacting with horses.

In the new study, the researchers reevaluated 64 of the children six months after their therapy sessions ended. They found that the children continued to exhibit reductions in irritability (although not hyperactivity) compared to the controls. In addition, the riding group sustained their initial improvements in social communication and word fluency.

Family and Marital Counseling

Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) is a style of psychotherapy that deals with the interactions between family members and the way these behaviors affect not only the individual, but also focuses on interactions that result in patterns of behavior in a relationship or within a family. MFT’s can work with individuals, couples, or families. If working with couples or families, the structure and content of sessions can be divided between time spent on individual therapy as well as time spent on couple therapy, family therapy, or both, if necessary. Marriage and Family Therapists are trained in both psychotherapy and family systems, which allows them to focus on understanding client symptoms in the context of the relational interactions that influence behavior.

Click the button below to view local counseling services that may be able to help your family.

Family/Marital Counseling

Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) is a style of psychotherapy that deals with the interactions between family members and the way these behaviors affect not only the individual, but also focuses on interactions that result in patterns of behavior in a relationship or within a family. MFT’s can work with individuals, couples, or families. If working with couples or families, the structure and content of sessions can be divided between time spent on individual therapy as well as time spent on couple therapy, family therapy, or both, if necessary. Marriage and Family Therapists are trained in both psychotherapy and family systems, which allows them to focus on understanding client symptoms in the context of the relational interactions that influence behavior.

Click the button below to view local counseling services that may be able to help your family.

Alternative and Holistic Treatments

The mission of holistic and alternative treatments is to find the root cause of health issues, rather than simply manage them. We focus on identifying and treating all the factors that influence health: physical, mental, environmental, and biochemical. We do this by utilizing effective strategies that address the root causes of disease and declining health nutrients. These include nutrient analysis, dietary modification, exercise, hormonal, biomedical, and other disease prevention approaches to help people achieve optimal health and happiness in their daily lives.

Alternative and Holistic Treatments

The mission of holistic and alternative treatments is to find the root cause of health issues, rather than simply manage them. We focus on identifying and treating all the factors that influence health: physical, mental, environmental, and biochemical. We do this by utilizing effective strategies that address the root causes of disease and declining health nutrients. These include nutrient analysis, dietary modification, exercise, hormonal, biomedical, and other disease prevention approaches to help people achieve optimal health and happiness in their daily lives.

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**Experienced Autism Alliance (“EAA”) does not endorse any specific treatments or therapies. Information provided is not meant to serve as medical advice. EAA urges individuals exploring any treatment to work with their treating physician to make the best decisions for their own care. 

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