How to find the right Autism therapy center for my child?

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: May 15, 2023

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability affecting how an individual communicates, behaves, or interacts. Managing the symptoms of Autism is possible with the right therapies according to the child’s needs. These therapies, such as behaviour, speech, occupational, and special education, can make an Autistic individual independent. Therapies are given to support ADLs or activities of daily living. Early intervention helps to manage the symptoms of Autism.

Occupational therapy for Autistic children
Are you offering the right therapies for your child?

How to find the right Autism therapy center?

Finding the right Autism therapy center is an important and primary part of planning your child’s therapy sessions. Autism therapy centers work with your child and support the parents and caregivers with resources. It is often heard, “If you meet a person with Autism, you met one person with autism”, which means every individual with Autism is different from the other. In the same way, every Autism Center is different from the others.

Parents with a child on the autism spectrum often plan their routine according to the child’s necessities. Hence the child’s therapy plans and schedules occupy a major prominence in planning your other parts of the day. A transparent approach is needed to discuss and take a call on the sessions. The timings, duration of the sessions, travelling distance to the center, and finances should all be considered before deciding. Everything of this plays a crucial part. Hence, the center that offers flexible therapies helps you make such decisions conveniently.

Honesty is important

Being honest and discussing the child’s necessities will help both your child and you. The center should have licensed therapists like RCI (Registered Council of India). You may ask for their registered numbers too. These therapists analyze your child’s case and make a custom-tailored plan for your child. The goals designed by therapists at the therapy center should match your goals. The therapists should actively and openly discuss the therapy plans the child might need and the activities they may try.

Know your therapies

You should be aware of the therapies suggested for your child. The meaning and the implemented plans of the therapy should be known clearly. For instance, if you know how ABA therapy helps your child, you are not offered enough information. Be specific in knowing the details.

Planning goals for both the short-term and long-term is important. The short-term goals of therapies are to target the individual’s symptoms that need immediate attention. The experts should discuss the therapy plan’s implementation status periodically with the parent or caregiver. Also, any changes in the plan, if needed, are to be included. The parent should be aware of the therapy plans for the next three months, six months, and for the next year.

A Child having Speech therapy
A Child having Speech therapy

Technology and Feedback:

It is a good center if they are equipped with technology to manage the things like following up with the process, consultation feedback, allotment of sessions, therapy plan execution, counting on the number of sessions, the billing process, etc. Suppose everything is being done systematically rather than asking your therapist for every silly thing. In that case, you can understand that they are serious about their job and that you can trust them. The therapist should be concerned about the development and status of the kid and should not bother about the charges or other details. Also, the therapists should be available during the center timings for any feedback or enquiries. They should be able to guide you regarding home-based activities to encourage the child’s progress.

What can I expect from an Autism therapy center?

Being a parent, you should have access to the therapy room if you want to check how the session is going on. The therapy room is usually a simple room containing the necessary instruments. The therapist and the child will be there during the session. For security reasons and to know what is going on, therapy rooms must be equipped with CCTV cameras. The parent should be able to watch the live feed of the therapy session. The CCTV recordings should be stored whenever access to them is requested. 

Interaction with the therapist should be provided when the parent makes a request. The therapists should be available and accessible to the parents. Planning finances should be convenient for the caregiver or parent. Flexible payment options help the parents of the middle-income group to manage their financial planning well in advance.

Therapists should set the therapy goals after discussing them with the parents or caregivers. These set of goals should be accessible to parents, both offline and also online, to monitor on their devices and the center’s website. Also, there should be an easily accessible way for parents to provide suggestions and complaints. 

How the centers should not be:

When a center offers something, no unrealistic statements should be made. If the promises of a therapy center sound too good to be true, then it’s a red flag. Suppose a therapy center makes false promises or claims to have a “cure” for Autism, then stay away from them. Because there is no cure for Autism, the symptoms of Autism can only be managed.

Experts recommend Early intervention services for individuals with Autism. It is so because the early the symptoms are addressed, the better the results will be. Similarly, the therapy plans of these services according to their symptoms are planned for each individual separately. Hence, beware if the center follows a standard procedure of suggesting all the available therapies for all the children there. In the end, this is all about managing the symptoms of Autism for each child.

Autism therapies for your child
A child during an Autism therapy session

The kind of therapies, individual or group, should also be informed to the parent or caretaker before allotting the sessions. Experts advise group sessions to improve the child’s social skills. The experts at the center should clearly explain the need for those sessions to you. If not, something about the place could be fishy. It’s good to check because transparency is a must.

We at Wellness Hub offer a multidisciplinary approach to addressing your child’s needs according to the individual’s requirements. Our approach includes the expertise of subject-matter experts, enabled by technology and supported by physical products. Please book a free consultation today to know what else you can do to support individuals with Autism.