Some elements of our website may not load if you have an ad blocker turned on.

Autism: Behavioral Training and Management - Forrest Health
    Share This
    Skip to main content

    Autism: Behavioral Training and Management

    Topic Overview

    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. 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:

    • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This treatment is based on the theory that behavior rewarded is more likely to be repeated than behavior ignored. It focuses on giving the child short simple tasks that are rewarded when successfully completed. Children usually work for 30 to 40 hours a week one-on-one with a trained professional. Some practitioners feel this method is too emotionally draining and demanding for a child with autism. Yet, years of practice has shown that ABA techniques result in new skills and improved behaviors in some children with autism.
    • TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children). This is a structured teaching approach based on the idea that the environment should be adapted to the child with autism, not the child to the environment. Teaching strategies are designed to improve communication, social, and coping skills. Like ABA, TEACCH also requires intensive one-on-one training.

    These treatments are not covered by all insurance plans.

    Related Information

    References

    Citations

    1. 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.

    Credits

    Current as of: May 28, 2019

    Author: Healthwise Staff
    Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
    Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
    Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics


    Related Locations


    Notice of Privacy Practices · PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST · FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE · NON-DISCRIMINATION NOTICE

    REQUEST FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR RELEASE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
    6051 US HIGHWAY 49, HATTIESBURG MS 39401 · 601-288-7000 · © FORREST HEALTH · ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ·

    A Board of Trustees appointed by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors is charged with the oversight of Forrest Health.  The system is completely self supporting and does not operate on local taxes.
    Forrest Health facilities are approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for participation in Medicare and Medicaid Programs.