Typical interventions

Spirale Factsheet #2: www.autismontario.com/spirale

There is no single treatment or treatment package for children and adults with ASD.  Professionals do agree that early intervention is important and that people with ASD respond very well to highly structuralized programs.

Most people respond to some combination of the following programs and interventions: 

  • Specialized educational programming based on highly structured behavioural approaches such as Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT)
  • Speech and language therapy (SLP) and augmentative and alternative communication tools such as PECS and Proloquo2go
  • Occupational Therapy (OT) for sensory integration and motor skills development
  • Social and play related activities and interventions
  • Functional and life-skills building programs
  • Counselling and other psychological therapies 

The needs of children and adults with autism will also change as individuals develop and learn though various educational programs, respond to treatment methods and as their developmental needs naturally change over the lifespan.

The success of any treatment will also depend greatly on the involvement and training of parents and caregivers.  Parents know their children best and they are key partners with educators and therapists in identifying changing behaviour issues, skills, interests and challenges.  Good programs usually have a parent training component so that parents and families can continue therapy and interventions at home.

Dietary and Supplement Interventions

Interest in alternative therapies, including diet and supplements are growing as parents explore ways to help their children.  Although interest is very high, there is limited research and a lack of evidence that these approaches help individuals with a particular diagnosis.

With food allergies and digestive issues growing among the general population, it is reasonable to think that diet changes may be helpful to some individuals on the spectrum; however it is not directly related to their autism diagnosis.

When embarking on any diet changes or use of supplements, it’s important to consult with your General Practitioner (GP) or registered dietitian.

For information or to find a registered dietitian visit the website of the Ontario College of Dietitians: www.cdo.on.ca/en.

Disclaimer: This document reflects the views of the author. It is Autism Ontario’s intent to inform and educate. Every situation is unique and while we hope this information is useful, it should be used in the context of broader considerations for each person. Please contact Autism Ontario at info@autismontario.com or 416-246-9592 for permission to reproduce this material for any purpose other than personal use. © 2012 Autism Ontario  416.246.9592  www.autismontario.com.