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Original and curated information about autism and related conditions

Types of long-term behavioral therapies

Types of therapies for autism

What types of therapy?

There are many types of therapy for autistic children. Doctors often refer to or recommend occupational, speech, physical, and music therapy. Each therapist will complete a thorough assessment of your child and then decide the amount and frequency of therapy. Usually, a child attends therapy on a weekly basis and receives ‘homework’ for the family to practice at home.

Behavior therapy is not just for kids who behave badly but is designed to develop and shape behaviors that should be displayed. Many types of therapy are included under the umbrella of behavior therapy. The decision should be made with your physician, developmental doctor, and even a social worker or case manager. Sometimes states have a waiver program to help cover the cost of therapy. As autism becomes more well-known, many insurance companies are paying for some therapy types.


Under the term long-term behavioral therapy there are a number of types:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – rewarding desired behavior

Verbal Behavior Therapy (VBT) – used mostly for nonverbal children, demonstrating by repetition that language/communication will get them results

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) – helps the child understand what triggers anxiety and develop coping skills

Developmental And Individual Differences Relationship (DIR) – play therapy that engages the child through enjoyable activities

Relationship Developmental Intervention (RDI) – it is focused on defining objectives to establish a connection both emotional and social, parents are trained by expert

Social Skills Groups – children work on real-world challenges and engage with peers to develop socially acceptable actions and language

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