Who Does Autism Early Intervention?

Who does autism early intervention?

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are, of course, treated by their pediatricians and often by a pediatrician who specializes in children with ASD.

In addition to medical treatment, however, there are several complementary therapies provided by professionals whose areas of expertise are not in the field of pediatric medicine.

Treatment for autism is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and no two children with an autism diagnosis will have the same symptoms or respond to the same treatment.


Psychologists provide applied behavioral therapy, often in conjunction with other therapists often called “trainers.” They may also provide verbal therapy. Floortime-trained psychologists provide floortime therapy.

Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers may provide verbal therapy, floortime therapy, and relationship development intervention.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language therapy (SLT) is provided by a speech-language pathologist who specializes in children with ASD. SLT works to overcome speech challenges in a child with ASD.

Treatment is tailored to the child’s strengths and weaknesses. Speech therapists may also be trained in Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT), a therapy designed to improve the child’s communication as well as play and social skills.

Certified Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapy (OT) is a therapy that is designed to promote independence in physical and motor skills. Provided by certified occupational therapists, OT necessarily encompasses cognitive skills as well and often includes therapies designed to enhance activities of daily living such as grooming and feeding skills.

Certified Occupational therapists may also provide Sensory Integration Therapy (SI) and Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT). SI is usually part of an OT program and helps to improve the brain’s organization and processing of sensory information. PRT focuses on communication and social skills.

Certified Physical Therapists

Physical Therapy (PT) is provided by Certified Physical Therapists. PT is a therapy that focuses on problems associated with movements, such as balance, coordination, and muscle tone. Physical therapists may also be part of Sensory Integration Therapy and Pivotal Response Therapy.

Parents’ Role in Therapy

Don’t underestimate the value of the parents’ role in providing therapy to their child. Parents can be trained to offer floortime therapy and to extend occupational, speech, physical, and other therapies in the home setting.

Your child will likely receive a combination of therapies depending on his or her needs and abilities. Read more about ASD therapies.