Norwalk Reflector: Ways in which co-treatment benefits a child with autism spectrum disorder

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Ways in which co-treatment benefits a child with autism spectrum disorder

By Lindsey Esker • Apr 30, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and a perfect opportunity to talk about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and what a parent can do if their child has been newly diagnosed with ASD.

An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum. A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome.

ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, but is almost five times more common among boys than among girls.


Help is here

If your child has been newly diagnosed with ASD, you probably have a million thoughts running through your head and at the center of those thoughts is one common goal…you want what is best for your child.

Fisher-Titus Pediatric Therapy can help. We offer specialized therapy services in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, as well as support services through the Autism Spectrum Kids (ASK) program.

Our team of physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT) and speech-language pathologists (SLP) work together in a collaborative approach to co-treat children with ASD.


What is a co-treatment?

Therapy sessions are conducted in an interdisciplinary approach to optimize therapeutic collaboration. Co-treatments are beneficial when two or more disciplines (PT, OT, SLP) share complimentary or similar goals.


Benefits of co-treatment

The benefits of co-treatment are numerous. Together therapists can combine their expertise to learn from each other and to create optimal treatment plans for the child. In order to best serve children, co-treatment should be done only when it is of benefit to the child and when the decision to do so is made collaboratively with the therapists and parents. Benefits include:

• The pediatric therapy team works together, creating a treatment plan that uses goals of both disciplines.

• Treatment sessions focus on the whole child, working on multiple areas vs. just one.

• Good for those with attention difficulties. Co-treating with children with attention difficulties is often more manageable for the child when compared to back-to-back individual sessions.

Good for generalization of skills. When a child uses a newly acquired skill with different people and in different situations, the skill will transfer into functional, everyday use.

Helps with behavior management. With two therapists it can be easier to address behavioral difficulties. The therapists can more easily take data, trial behavior plans, and work as a team to figure out how to increase positive behaviors and reduce negative behaviors.

Fisher-Titus has an accomplished group of pediatric therapists that specialize in childhood disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, sensory disorders, feeding disturbance, cerebral palsy, and more. For more information on Fisher-Titus Pediatric Therapy Programs, call 419-663-1975, Ext. 3040 or visit


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lindsey Esker M.A. CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist. She serves as both the Pediatric Programs Coordinator and the Speech/Audiology Team Lead at Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

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