If your child has autism, you know early intervention is key. Research has shown early intervention for autism can positively affect skills and symptoms over the long term. Early diagnosis of autism helps children receive timely intervention, develop skills, and manage sensory experiences, improving their quality of life now and in the future. But what exactly is early intervention, and why is it so critical? Let’s go over the basics of early intervention for autism and why it’s essential for your child’s development.
When is Autism Diagnosed?
The earlier the diagnosis, the sooner the child can access intervention, and the greater the opportunity for developing skills and managing sensory sensitivities and behaviors. While professionals can reliably diagnose autism at two years old and older, they can suspect autism under the age of two. However, if you are concerned about your child’s general development, be sure to seek general development evaluations at every checkup with their pediatrician. It’s never too early for these evaluations, as they help monitor development.
What is Early Intervention?
Early intervention for autism means providing therapeutic services to a child on the autism spectrum, typically starting as early as two or three years old. The brain is still rapidly developing during these early years, so early intervention is key to a child’s development and functioning later in life. Early intervention can address speech and communication, social skills, gross and fine motor skills, self-care, independence, and more. ABA therapy is one of the most used interventions for children with autism.
Benefits of Early Intervention
Over time, research has proven that the early diagnosis and intervention of autism, occurring around preschool age, are more likely to have significant long-term positive effects on symptoms and the development of later skills. Unfortunately, most children with autism are not diagnosed until they are much older due to caregivers failing to identify symptoms or lack of access to care. They miss out on a suitable time for intervention. The sooner a child can start behavioral therapy, the more likely they are to make progress regarding their skills later on in life.
ABA Therapy for Children
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy breaks down tasks into small, manageable steps and teaches children with autism new skills by reinforcing a desired behavior. Unique to each child’s needs, ABA is helpful for children with developmental problems, no matter their cause. Behavioral therapy has no downside, even if the child is found to have a different diagnosis — or may have no issue at all.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.