"What is the best thing I can do for my child with autism?"
9 times out of 10 the answer will be: THERAPY! The type and amount of therapy will differ with each child but therapy seems to be the most common answer to that question. As you diligently do what you're told and seek a therapist you'll soon hear another common term: WAIT LIST.
How is it that autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder...umm, ever...the best way to support these individuals is with therapy...and we don't have enough therapist in the fields? Wait list are commonly anywhere from 6months to a year.
Is it the pay? Is it the time it takes to get educated? Is there a lack of awareness of this huge gap in the market??
Therapy most prescribed to our kiddos with autism includes:
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Social Skills Class
Therapeutic Horseback Riding
All of these (especially ABA) require at least a bachelors degree to qualify to lead a session or manage a case. Pay scales vary greatly by location and demand. And often working with insurance is an unrewarded headache. Yes, there is deep satisfaction to help those in need but the bureaucracy around the "business of therapy" maybe enough to stop people from getting into the field.
We continue to create awareness on what families on the spectrum face. We continue to shout "these wait list are insane!". But also, we should be the change we wish to see. Autism parents make GREAT therapist! Consider a career in therapy (with all the free time you have on your hands :-D). When you're in a hole and no one has a rope...its time to start building a ladder.