Benefits of Getting Therapy at Home and an Autism Centre in Singapore
It’s understandable for parents to worry that their children are unable to communicate their thoughts or express a range of emotions at an age where these are expected. After all, how a child processes language, behaviour, or visual cues are indicators of their development.
Your child’s paediatrician would be in the best position to determine if your child is in the spectrum. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that may affect a child’s development.
Why is early treatment important in autism?
Autism is a condition characterised by a wide range of communication and behaviour problems. Children diagnosed with ASD often experience challenges with repetitive behaviours, social skills, speech, and nonverbal communication.
Worldwide, about one in 100 children exhibit symptoms of autism. In the United States, approximately one in 44 children has been identified with ASD. In Singapore’s population of 5 million, about 50,000 individuals have been diagnosed with ASD. Of these, 11,500 are under the age of 19.
Though there is no cure for autism, a number of therapies can help people with the condition improve their abilities and reduce symptoms. The early initiation of therapy, preferably during or before preschool, improves the child’s ability to function. These therapies help reduce ASD symptoms and at the same time, support learning and development.
Research has shown that early treatment for autism can improve a child’s overall development. Children who receive therapy and autism-appropriate education are more likely to achieve important social skills.
For instance, a study by researchers at the Autism Research Centre, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Canada found that early intervention as early as 15 months show promising results. Meanwhile, a study published in the journal Advances in Family Practice Nursing reports that maximising early brain development sets the foundation for optimal outcomes. Early detection and intervention of ASD help children maximise their development and improve developmental outcomes.
In a nutshell, early detection can provide a child in the spectrum with the potential for a better life. At the same time, parents will learn how to help their children improve physically, emotionally, and mentally across the developmental stages with assistance from therapists.
What is the treatment for ASD?
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for ASD. A personalised, research-based therapy can help your child with autism to reach their true potential.
The treatments for ASD include cognitive behavioural therapy, social skills training, occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, speech therapy, and applied behaviour analysis (ABA).
What is ABA therapy?
ABA therapy is the most widely-used treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental conditions. It is a type of therapy that can improve social, communication, and learning skills through reinforcement approaches.
The goal of ABA therapy is for children to show more interest in people around them, become more focused in school, reduce or stop self-harming behaviours, have fewer outbursts and tantrums, communicate with other people more effectively, and learn to ask for things they want clearly.
The treatment can be performed at home or in an autism centre. Here, we will provide the benefits of both strategies to help you decide which one best fits your child’s needs.
Home-Based Therapy vs. Autism Centre in Singapore
A home-based ABA therapy is designed to help children with ASD develop their behavioural, social, and language potential. The therapy aims to increase language and communication skills, decrease problematic behaviours, and improve focus, attention, memory, skills, and cognitive skills.
The licensed therapist will break down each of these skills into smaller and concrete steps. This means the therapist will teach each step one at a time, from simple tasks to more complex activities. Afterwards, the BCBA and therapist will collect data to measure your child’s progress.
ABA therapy is performed in both at-home and centre-based settings.
To have a better glimpse of the differences between these two settings, we’ve rounded up their benefits.
Home-Based ABA Therapy
Home-based ABA therapy involves applying the strategies to help children with autism attain their verbal, social, and behavioural potential in their home environment.
Further, during at-home sessions, parents are present to monitor the child’s progress and development. This way, they will familiarise themselves with the process, and better understand the child’s needs, struggles, and behaviour.
Though sessions are conducted while the child is at home, the tailored programmes will suit every learning style. The BCBA therapist is trained, certified, and experienced in working with children with special needs.
• Conducted in the natural and familiar environment
Children with autism will benefit from at-home ABA therapy because learning in their natural environment makes them master the skills easier and faster. Also, since they are in their natural environment, BCBA therapists can observe them more closely, getting a glimpse of how a typical day goes.
At-home sessions are designed by RBT and BCBA therapists, tailored to each child’s needs and pace. One of the most valuable benefits of home-based ABA therapy is how comfortable the child will be.
• Reduces distraction and convenient
An ABA therapy at home helps reduce distraction for the child. The need to adjust to a new environment is also avoided, causing lesser outbursts. Another benefit of having a home-based therapy is the fact that the child no longer needs to go out to the therapy centre. The Behavioural Therapist comes right to the door, reducing the challenges of transitioning from home to a new setting.
• Family is involved
ABA therapy can be performed at home, which means that parents and siblings can be involved in the process. Aside from providing quality autism therapy, therapists help teach parents and other family members to support the child and make sure daily therapy sessions are attended.
• Knowing the progress
Home-based therapies let the parents learn more about the capabilities of the children. Therapists will let you know how they’re coping with the sessions and the issues they encounter.
• Skills set generalised to home setting
A common issue for parents is that their children are able to do things for themselves when they are at school but not when they are at home. This is because the child gets accustomed to the fact that at home, things are done for him so there is no need to do it himself. By having home-based therapy, we can correct all these behaviours. One common example is eating. Child able to eat by himself in school but not at home.•
A centre-based therapy is provided on-site in an autism centre in Singapore, rather than in the school, home, or community. Many parents who participate in early intervention want their children to transition to a regular school. Centre-based sessions will help the child adjust to a new environment.
• Highly-structured environment
Centre-based therapy allows goals to be achieved in a highly-structured setting. In a centre, variables are controlled so specific goals are targeted. Children experience reduced distractions from familiar situations and they become more focused.
• Social interaction
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of autism centres for therapies is social interaction. The child is allowed to socialise with other children as well as adults.
This provides them with a better option to acquire social skills that can be imperative for success in school and later in life.
With centre-based therapy, the therapist usually has access to numerous teaching materials and other instructional resources to aid his or her own practice.
When it comes to determining the most suitable environment for the child to receive ABA therapy, there are many aspects to consider. Both at-home and centre-based ABA therapy sessions are beneficial to children on the spectrum.
Autismstep is a team of certified and experienced BCBAs and RBTs. To ensure that your kids are in good hands during the therapy sessions, all our therapists are required to be RBT-certified. In fact, we are the only organisation in Singapore that does this. Tap here to know more about The Role of An Autism Specialist in Singapore.
Every child has different needs. For some children, staying at home is suitable for their needs, while others may benefit more from centre-based therapy sessions. It is pivotal to determine the child’s needs to conduct therapies more effectively.
To help you make an informed decision on the type of therapy your child needs, please schedule a consultation with us today, or call +65 6456 9950.