Comprehensive Treatment Offers Hope for Autism

Nov 2, 2011   //   Blog, Research, Special Needs, Speech

by Kathryn Wage

Autism is a neurologically based condition that affects many areas of development including speech, language, social interaction, behavior and motor skills. Parents of children with autism are often bewildered about the best choice for treatment and are uncertain of how to ensure their child receives appropriate services.

Though very little data exists on early treatment in Autism there are encouraging recent studies that demonstrate early treatment has a positive effect on the development of the child with autism. Recent studies also show that appropriate comprehensive intervention for children as young as 18 months of age can improve symptoms and reduce the severity of the disorder. While speech communication skills are often the most obvious symptom that causes concern for parents; motor skills, sensory processing, and social responsiveness are also affected and provide additional challenges as children begin to interact with the environment during the first year of life.

Little is known about the types of intervention that are most effective because studies have not focused on comparing treatment outcomes of the different types of therapy. Treatment ranges from the most structured discreet trial methods to more open-ended, child-centered methods. A critical component appears to be parent responsiveness training so that skills learned can be used in natural environments such as home and play. Children with autism benefit from multiple approaches to encourage normal development.

The California Learning Connection (CLC) provides an environment where the integration of approaches creates positive outcomes for children with autism and their families. The occupational therapists, speech/language therapists and play therapists at CLC design programs that are intensive and effective in providing a variety of appropriate interventions. Additionally, CLC therapists work cooperatively with other agencies and providers to build successful programs that increase social engagement, communication and sensory motor skills in children with autism. Most importantly, parents are given support and training in extending the benefits of therapy throughout a child’s day and across environments.

To learn more about the services at the California Learning Connection call for a free consultation (559) 228-9100 or visit

Our daughter, Emma (age 5) has made tremendous progress in the past three years and as a result no longer requires the same level of services. In fact, she was receiving  over forty hours a week of combined services and now merely requires speech a few hours a week. We attribute her progress to the comprehensive and intensive early intervention she received while at the California Learning Connection. We believe early intervention has profound effects for children with autism and Emma is proof of the same.

-Testimonial from Bethany Berube

Center For Communication Skills, Speech & Language Pathologists, Fresno, CA