Fort Myers therapy for children with autism

Why We Still Need Autism Awareness: Perspective From Fort Myers Therapists for Children With Autism

Social media newsfeeds everywhere will be suddenly awash today with blue light bulbs and puzzle piece art, marking World Autism Awareness Day (every April 2nd) and the beginning of National Autism Awareness Month. At FOCUS, members of our team have been providing Fort Myers therapy for children with autism (and many other conditions) for more than a decade now.

Occasionally during Autism Awareness Month, we come across questions/hear sentiments like:

  • What difference do blue porch lights and profile pic frames make?
  • Doesn’t everyone already know about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at this point? After all, the CDC’s newest estimate that 1 in 59 children/1 in 37 boys are diagnosed in the U.S. now annually.
  • Do we really even NEED an Autism Awareness Month anymore?
To that last question, we say: All. The. Yes.
We’re aware of some controversy within the autism community about the April awareness campaigns and whether they’re truly helpful to families navigating ASD daily. Some wonder whether autism awareness falls short in offering a full and fair representation of the whole autism community. Some assert we should be promoting acceptance rather than awareness. None of these points are invalid because frankly, the spectrum is so broad and every child with autism (and the adults supporting them) experiences and processes it uniquely, so everyone’s perspective here is to be respected. 
Our take as FOCUS Fort Myers therapists for children with autism (which include speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and ABA therapists) is that we DO still need autism awareness – around the world, in the U.S., in Florida and right here in Fort Myers.
Here’s why:
Fort Myers ABA therapists

Fort Myers ABA Therapists Adhere to Best Autism Treatment Practices – Both Time-Tested, Evolving

Fort Myers ABA therapists at FOCUS know that in terms of specialties in medical study, autism is relatively new. The condition wasn’t even named in medical literature until the 1930s. The child psychiatrist credited with discovering it would later say, “I didn’t discover autism. It was there before.” But because this overall lack of awareness of the condition – even in the medical community – means still today that for as many strides as we’ve made, there is still so much we don’t know – namely, its causes or why autism rates have risen so sharply since the 1960s (now at 1 in every 59 children and 1 in 38 for boys).

What our ABA therapists can say with confidence is that early intervention with a combination of pediatric therapies – specifically ABA (applied behavioral analysis), occupational therapy, speech therapy and sometimes physical therapy – has thusfar proven the most effective in helping children diagnosed with autism catch up to their peers to the greatest extent possible.

ABA Therapists: FOCUS’ Collaborative Approach has Proven Most Effective

ABA, and the methods studied and practiced by our Fort Myers ABA therapists, specialists and RBTs (registered behavior technicians), are considered the”gold standard” when it comes to autism therapy. In the simplest terms, ABA is a rewards-based system for the goal of behavior modification. Parents use it all the time without even realizing (example: You’ll get dessert if you finish your broccoli). Our Fort Myers ABA therapists can explain we use the same basic principle, but uniquely tailored to each child, meeting them at their skill level to teach appropriate behaviors and minimize inappropriate or unhealthy behaviors. (This individualized plan approach is critical because as the saying goes, “If you’ve met one person with autism… You’ve met one person with autism.” What is motivating or consequential for one child may be totally irrelevant and ineffective for another. That’s why it’s so important to have ABA therapists who aren’t just trained, but passionate about what they do, committed to never giving up in identifying those missing puzzle pieces that are going to make it “click” for each child.