A modern therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) integrates an understanding of the neurological, information-processing deficits with a relationship-based, developmental model.
In the process of remediation, as children become more integrated and develop a sense of self, they are able to problem-solve everyday issues and actively participate and navigate the social world of relationships.
Neurological impairments associated with ASD may interfere with the early signaling system of relating, communicating, in regards to basic needs met, experience sharing and the forming of a relationship. The intersubjective relationship is a critical foundation between a parent and child that allows them to move along the developmental pathway and it might remediate core deficits. The forming of the dyadic relationship is the crucible in which the parent becomes the facilitative guide to open the gateway for the growth of the child’s emotional regulation, social, cognitive, communicative and functioning.
Atypical behaviors presented in a child with ASD might include difficulties in their ability to relate, communicate and regulate their behaviors. Children may lack motivation to engage in affective relationships or purposely persist with curiosity. They may have never learned how to socially reference others faces for pleasure or for information to resolve uncertainty. They may not actively seek out others to share in meaningful moments or join in pleasurable experiences. They may also have difficulty verbalizing their feelings and organizing their thoughts to communicate their intent. They tend to play with toys in an isolated or in a stereotypic manner. A child may tend to be more preoccupied and may have sensory processing difficulties (visual, auditory, tactile, motor planning, etc.) which could deter them from engaging in novel or challenging experiences. These can be increasingly challenging symptoms that cause a child to avoid or over-react and respond indifferently to their social world.
As parents have a better understanding of their child’s developmental needs, they become more competent in making a difference by setting up experiences that help to remediate their child’s deficits. With support and guidance, parents develop greater competence in effectively addressing their child’s obstacles.
VHAP staff collaborate with parents to build upon their existing knowledge and learn an expanding repertoire of appropriate interventions to: promote their child’s relationships with others; socially communicate their intentions; and understand and effectively manage their difficult behaviors and regulate their emotions. Parents also learn the sequential developmental stages to build the foundation that remediate the core deficits and optimizes their child’s progression towards emotional thinking and dynamic intelligence.
Parents are guided to provide increased opportunities to engage with their child in meaningful play experiences and maximize every day routine activities to connect and relate to their child. As well as promoting relational skills, they further learn how to guide their child in developing the functional daily living skills to promote increased independence.Parents can come to feel more empowered as they guide and foster their child’s competence. The process in becoming more integrated in developing a sense of self, problem-solving everyday issues, managing significant relationships with their family and friends and become a part within their community is the essence of remediation.