I. From the point of diagnosis, typically within the first 30 months of development to the age of formal educational placement (often 5 years): Treatment priorities most often occur in the areas of:

  • Nutritional support and guidance
  • Development of social behavior (even at very young ages...typical of all infants whether or not diagnosed with a developmental disorder)
  • Communication and language development
  • Depending on age, basic self care and activities of daily living
  • Motor development, including fine motor skills, gross motor abilities, sensori motor skills, and body awareness

Services are often provided by specialists trained in the particular area of focus, e.g., Speech and Language specichild_stethoscope_2alists, Psychologists trained in Discrete Trial Learning techniques (often referred to as Applied Behavioral
Analysis treatment,
or Pivotal Response
Training, or other similar techniques), educational specialists who provide early intervention services, Occupational Therapists or Physical Therapists.


There are many ways to look at the Treatment Services that are often utilized with persons with Autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome. One helpful way to conceptualize the wide array of services is to consider the treatment priorities along a developmental continuum.




II. Throughout a person’s educational years: This time frame is extensive in terms of the services / treatment needs of a person with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder. While many services are provided through the Educational System, some services may require delivery outside of this system.

  • Academic tutorial support.... may involve specialists who focus on specific learning disorders, attentional and /or organizational issues, or issues related to coping within the general classroom learning environment.
  • Behavioral services provided within the home setting or in the classroom setting... may focus on sibling issues, compliance with family structure, socially inappropriate behaviors, or other matters.
  • Specific social skill training... likely relates to identified social challenges in specified settings.
  • Communication / language skills... effective communication abilities related to social environments, social situations, or particular social groups.
  • Community integration support

IIII. Post educational system: This time frame typically involves life routines related to vocational pursuits, social relationships, and living situations.

  • vocational training or support and/or competitive employment
  • ongoing support and training within daily routines for home and work environments.
  • regarding living circumstances, may involve residential placement out of home, including supported living placements, or independent living placements.
  • community / social skills support