Parents should always rule out medical issues such as hearing, vision or other problems in their child with autism or aspergers.
Parents should always make an effort to rule out any signs of medical issues in order to increase the effectiveness of the behavioral treatment. If the child has a medical issue it may reduce, slow down or prevent the child from a complete habilitation from behavioral intervention or mainstreaming. Some medical issues to keep in mind include the following. The following list includes some items that research has suggested a relationship to developmental delays and autistic type behaviors. One example is hearing or hearing problems. Numerous research articles and papers at conferences have talked about the strong relationship between hearing problems in clients with autism, aspergers, aggression and developmental delays. They often present data with a direct correlation between these problems or control studies. These children usually have a history of ear infections, tubes in their ears or pain in their ears. When a behavior therapist or parent does an assessment this is a very useful thing to ask about when reviewing the history of the child and the "organism" variables in the SORC analysis. If the parent or child has a history of ear problems they should be referred to a specialist for ear problems not just the general practitioner. The reason for this is that often a general hearing test may not pick up some more specialized problems with the ears. A specialist such as an otologist or ENT is preferred to be sure there is no problem that could jeopardize learning for the child. Other examples might be medical problems that lead to sleep problems, genetic disorders that causes a variety of problems, small seizures that are not detected, vision problems, allergies, stomach problems and constipation. These topics will be discussed more in depth in future blogs. Medical issues should be ameliorated so that the child can progress to his upmost ability developmentally through behavioral interventions.
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