How to Measure Success in Your Child’s Autism Therapy

Have you ever asked yourself if your child’s autism therapy is working?

Have you wondered how to measure success in your child’s autism therapy?

You aren’t alone in your thoughts!

Quality of Life Vs. Therapy

When the approach to your child’s intervention is not based on a book, a set-in-stone assessment, scripted conversations, or rehearsed behaviors, nor is it based on a goal such as your child’s IQ, the measurement of success takes on an entirely different look – especially when it isn’t therapy-based. Our program develops dynamic thinking and focuses on quality of life, which includes reciprocal communication, genuine friendships, confidence, independent living, and as the child matures – prolonged relationship and meaningful employment. All of which are observable but unmeasurable markers of success.

Individual-Based Success Goal

The goal is not to make the child perfect, or good, but to guide them to the best life that they can live with the challenges that come with autism. The ultimate measurement of success at this time in your child’s life could be an improvement simply in their quality of life.

When we focus on the parent guiding the child and edging off anxiety, fear, and the stunting of growth rather than through forced therapies, we open your child up to develop in their own time. There is no test or measurement that can accurately gauge your child’s success and growth because your child will experience progress from where they uniquely are, and not where the world believes or compares to where they should be.

Successful Achievement is Observable

Effective autism intervention results in observable changes in behavior – successes that are seen when you view your child through a wide-eyed lens focused on positive improvements in everyday life.

Related: Our Goals in RDI®

Observation of your child’s skill acquisition is a marker in your child’s success, but there are other ways to observe growth:

Improved Parent/Family Interaction often goes unnoticed. Is your family enjoying time together? Are you, the parent, enjoying the interaction with your child? An increase in positive interaction is one of the top indicators that your autistic child is growing.

Improved Child Participation in social engagements, experience-sharing, and learning tasks indicates growth. Even if skills for specific tasks have not improved, your child’s willingness to engage is an indication of progress. Active participation and increased positive behaviors are strong signs of progression.

Progress in Process is a telling indicator of growth as opposed to outcome. Observe how many times your child attempts a process – for example, they volunteer to brush their teeth, rather than whether they get it right. Today, they may remember to get their own toothbrush out, turn on the cold water and brush their teeth. They might forget to apply the toothpaste. As we look at progress with open-eyes, we don’t look at what the child cannot do, but what they do today that they couldn’t manage or achieve months or years ago. This is how you measure success in your child’s autism program!

Open Your View

What you look for, you will likely find. If you believe your child has not progressed, you will see a lack of success each time your child hits a roadblock and cannot carry through. Don’t measure success by envisioning failure.

If you believe your child has progressed, you’ll see the tiniest to the largest successes in plain view. You’ll see when your child socially engages, or when they go the next step without your lead. You will see progress. Measurable progress? No, but we don’t measure success by a chart or formalized study … we measure by “real” change in everyday life experiences. You are the best judge and observer of that!

Access to RDI® Online Help

In order to help your family, we are throwing open our doors and are making our resources available to you for only $5 a month through June 30, 2020. Learn more at



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