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Tag: Autism diagnosis

A Parent’s Guide to Autism Treatment and Support

If you are learning your child has autism, figuring out your next steps may seem complicated. No one is prepared to hear their child is anything but happy and healthy, and hearing Autism Spectrum Disorder can come across as frightening, so let’s define it.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined “as a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior.” Children do not “grow out” of ASD, but they can receive treatment to help them develop new skills and overcome these developmental challenges. Early intervention is the most effective way to help your child find the right treatment and program type.  

Common treatment plans include 

Lexington Services offers autistic support services to kids with autism and other disabilities. Lexington Therapy Services provides children with skilled therapists and individualized plans for children to achieve their goals and thrive in life.

Lexington also provides an After School Program, Adult Program, and a Summer Program for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Members can take advantage of several types of therapies in a center or in a home environment. 

Support is an essential part of you and your child’s journey. The right kind of support can bring together answers and ease in the same setting. Support groups and respite are great forms of autism support. 

Support groups allow parents to share information, receive advice, and really lean on each other for things emotional. Respite, which is provided by Lexington, can give parents a break from time to time. Lexington would match your child with a caregiver who will take over temporarily for a few hours or even days and provide autism help.

Another essential thing to remember is your own self-care. Raising a child is not easy, and raising a child with special needs provides more challenges. Making sure you are taken care of will bring out the best in your child too.

When looking for treatments, you will also come across programs.

These programs may include:

  • Government programs
  • In-Home Behavioral
  • School-based programs

Government based programs can begin as soon as a parent suspects something. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with disabilities are eligible to receive free or low-cost services. Infants through the age of two years old are eligible for early intervention programs. These early intervention programs are tailored to your child’s unique needs. 

To qualify, a child must undergo a free evaluation. Once the assessment is complete and if a developmental problem is found, the parent will then work with the providers to determine an Individualized Family Service Plan to describe the needs and specific services for the child.

Children three years and older are eligible for school-based programs. In school-based programs, children with ASD are placed in small groups with other children of the same level to receive more individual attention and specialized instruction. Depending on their abilities, these children may still spend part of their day in a regular classroom.

To receive school-based services, your local school system will have to evaluate your child. After the evaluation, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is created to address your child’s needs and the educational goals for the school year.

Lastly, in-home behavioral programs are also available. In-Home Behavioral Services “offer support to a youth who has a challenging behavior that interferes with everyday life.” Here, a team works with the child and parent to create a behavioral plan to improve their functioning. 

Although a diagnosis for your child may seem frightening, taking the first steps don’t have to be. With the right treatment and programs, your child can thrive. Lexington Services is committed to tailoring to every child’s needs and building a foundation for students to achieve their highest potential. Learn more about us today. 


Disclaimer: This post attempts to publicize ideas and comments that we find would be useful for our community to know. Our post is by no means intended to prompt you to handle your challenges in any specific way. We desire to bring helpful information to all our audiences and shine a light on popular topics.

Cultural Diversity And Its Effect On Autism Diagnosis

Most people tend to think about their world and their experiences through an ethno-centric lens, viewing other people and cultural practices through our own cultural lens. When it comes to autism diagnosis, there is a very heavy focus on western ideals of what might be considered a social deficit. This isn’t on purpose, but it stems from the fact that much of the autism research in the world is being done by western researchers. Still, in the United States, a lack of eye contact and an avid choice to avoid eye contact is seen as a hallmark sign of autism, but in South Africa, a child will likely avoid looking into the eyes of an adult. Western markers are often used as benchmarks for diagnosis, but cultural diversity is extremely important to consider for researchers, clinicians and even parents when deciding to seek an autism diagnosis.

Different Perspectives On Autism

When more than 100 countries throughout the world have resource centers and support groups for individuals and families with autism, it’s clear that the condition is understood across cultural boundaries. However, what constitutes a marker that is strong enough to seek an autism diagnosis over differs in other regions of the world. Children in many asian cultures are expected to show deference and respect to their elders, which can be hard to master for children with autism. While we might look to eye contact or finger pointing here in the US, clinicians in China might take notice of a lack of metered respect for elders as a sign of autism.

Part of observing cultural diversity while actively working to intervene early with treatment involves researching and measuring how often behaviors occur in members of a population and establishing social and cultural norms. It’s also important to be aware of the cultural diversity that exists within one population. Even here in the United States, a Native or Hispanic child might show different markers that require an autism diagnosis as opposed to a Caucasian or African American neighbor, and then the markers can diversify if you live in the country or the city.

Is There Such A Thing As “Neurotypical”

There is a concept that some researchers and advocates have researched and theorized about to a large extent called “neurotypical” or to function without displaying the signs of autism or any other intellectual disorder. In the most simple and yet reductionist way, this term simply means you behave in a way that is considered “normal” by cultural standards. However, if you’re observing cultural diversity, something that might indicate the need to seek an autism diagnosis by western standards is completely commonplace in a different region. Who are we to enforce our cultural paradigms on others. Therefore, “neurotypical” as a term functions nicely as a comparison for researchers to set parameters to create an accurate autism diagnosis, but we should be observant of cultural diversity in our own circles and try to consider different perspectives before we formulate opinions.

Knowing When To Test

The deep concerns that affect parents and families of kids with autism tend to transcend any cultural boundaries and cross into the realm of universal truth. Parents are concerned with their child’s health, development, social limitations, motor functions and future independence and these things are not bound to culture. If it seems that an autism diagnosis is appropriate, it’s a good idea to speak to a medical professional. Your doctor will be able to refer you to a professional that’s both aware of the cultural diversity concerns of your family and provide an accurate autism diagnosis.

When you’re ready, you can also reach out to Lexington Services. We are ready to walk you through the initial steps of an autism diagnosis and to get you linked up with the services you need for your loved one and your family. Call 480-900-1009 for more information.