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Behavioral training teaches people of all ages who have
autism how to communicate appropriately. This type of
training can reduce behavior problems and improve adaptation skills.
Both behavioral training and behavioral management use positive
reinforcement to improve behavior. They also use social skills training to
improve communication. The specific program should be chosen according to the
child's needs. High-functioning autistic children may be enrolled in mainstream
classrooms and child care facilities—watching the behavior of other normally
developing children can provide examples for autistic children to follow. But
other children are overstimulated in a regular classroom and work best in
smaller, highly structured environments.
Consistent use of these
behavioral interventions produces the best results. The child's functional
abilities, behavior, and daily environment should be thoroughly assessed before
behavioral training and management begins.1 Parents,
other family members, teachers, and caregivers of the autistic child should all
be trained in these techniques.
Many treatment approaches have
been developed, including:
These treatments are not covered
by all insurance plans.
Myers SM, et al. (2007, reaffirmed 2010). American Academy of
Pediatrics clinical report: Management of children with autism spectrum
disorders. Pediatrics, 120(5): 1162–1182.
April 3, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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