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Intensive Behavioral Intervention Can Help Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Typically developing infants are social by nature. They watch faces, engage emotionally, and even smile within the first 2 to 3 months. However, most children who develop autism have difficulty engaging in everyday human interactions and the necessary give and take of daily life — and most diagnosis occurs in early childhood. By 8 to 10 months of age, many children who develop autism show some early symptoms such as lack of response to their names, diminished interest in people and the delayed onset of babbling and cooing. By toddlerhood, many autistic children have difficulty playing board games, do not imitate the actions of others and prefer to play alone; also, they may not seek comfort or respond to affection.

The Challenges of ASD

Many people with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty seeing similar things from the perspective of another person. Most five year olds understand that other people have thoughts, feelings and goals that are similar or different to the ones they have. A person with autism may lack such understanding, which in turn, can interfere with the ability to predict or understand the actions of another person.

It is common - but not universal - for people with autism to have difficulty regulating emotions. This can take the form of "immature" behavior such as crying or explosive tantrums in inappropriate situations. It can also lead to physically aggressive outbursts and other disruptive behaviour. Frustration may also result in self-injurious behavior such as head banging, hair pulling or other self-destructive outbursts. For children who are on the extreme end of the autism spectrum, Intensive Behavioral Intervention, or IBI, may be necessary.

What Is Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI)?

IBI is the application of the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) in an intensive, highly structured format, and is used to teach new skills and behaviours to children with ASD. It is a comprehensive approach that is used to teach a broad range of communication, socialization, self-help, pre-academic, and play skills.

If you live in the GTA and are looking for IBI therapy Toronto has many options, but not all of them are going to offer optimal treatment. You should be on the lookout for a private clinic that customizes treatment and IBI programming to the individualized strengths and needs of your child and be sure that therapy decisions are based on a comprehensive review of program data.

At a clinic such as Simone Friedman SLS in Toronto, the goal of IBI is to help young children with autism catch up developmentally to their age peers, by increasing their developmental trajectory or rate of learning. A child’s developmental trajectory is determined by their performance on standardized assessments to evaluate how the child processes information and manages activities of daily living.

Simone Friedman SLS provides IBI for children who have been diagnosed toward the severe end of the autism spectrum. Intense instruction is provided across developmental areas, including cognition, language, social and self-care skills. Teaching generally occurs in a centre-based environment, in both one-to-one and small group formats for approximately 20 -25 hours per week.

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