Early intervention in an effective program is the key to helping autistic children become successful members of society. There is proven scientific research that proves that behavior management techniques are successful with autistic students. Some of the characteristics displayed by an autistic child can be: lack of emotion, unable to speak, they have trouble holding eye contact, they may have trouble transitioning from one task to another, they need to follow schedules rigidly or else the world feels out of control. Students also display self-stimulating behavior.

  • Rewards can be effective at achieving short term goals.
  • They can help build intrinsic motivation.
  • Educators find the strategies easy to implement.
  • The student’s fixations can be channeled to productive learning.
  • By using technology, autistic children can become more adaptive to learning environments.
  • To ease transitions, picture cues can be used to inform the child of the daily routines and schedules.
  • Rewards given to the autistic student may become overused leading to ineffectiveness.
  • Long-term dependency may have negative long-term effects on intrinsic motivation and self discipline.
  • Rewards work in the classroom but aren’t learned in other places.
  • Varying needs of the students requires constant preparation and follow-up.
  • May cause the general education students to question fairness.

Top Ten Strategies and Interventions:

  1. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Reward based training that focuses on teaching specific skills.
  2. Speech Therapy: Helps students develop linguistic skills.
  3. Occupational Therapy: This focuses on building daily living skills. (Fine motor skills)
  4. Social Skills Therapy: Building the child’s communication skills and making them more adaptable to society.
  5. Physical Therapy: Building up strength, coordination, and basic sports skills. (Gross motor skills)
  6. Play Therapy: Allows the students to grow socially and emotionally.
  7. Behavior Therapy: This is needed to identify the student’s sensory needs and recommends changes and modifications to the environment and routines to improve behavior.
  8. Developmental Therapies: To increase the student’s intellectual, emotional, and social skills, the therapist builds from the child’s interests, strengths, and developmental level.
  9. Visually Based Therapies: Picture based communication and cues strengthen the student’s ability to learn.
  10. Biomedical Therapies: Treatments are based on DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) These treatments may involve pharmaceuticals that have not been approved by the FDA but have been proved effective thus far.