As many as 1 in 6 children are diagnosed with some form of developmental disability, according to the CDC. Among these, a significant number are found to be on the autism spectrum. As awareness of autism has increased, so too has knowledge of therapies to benefit children with the disability. If your child has autism, early intervention can set them on the course for living a happy life. Today, we’re going to explain the importance of early intervention for children with autism.
Early Signs of Autism
The term early intervention is, in some ways, self-explanatory. But what exactly is meant by ‘early’? Really, it’s not worth fussing over what counts as ‘early’ and what doesn’t. Generally speaking, though, the earlier your child receives the therapeutic attention they need, the better.
Children can exhibit signs of autism even in their infancy. This is not always the case, however. But in most cases, a child with autism will show some signs of it by the time they reach their second birthday.
Here are some early signs of autism to be aware of in children under 2:
- Not making eye contact or responding to facial expressions / gestures
- Missing language milestones such as first words before 16 months
- Engaging in repetitive behavior, such as rocking back and forth or flapping of hands
As a parent, it pays to trust your instincts. If you suspect that your child has autism, you should get them the attention they need as soon as possible.
How Can Early Intervention Help?
Simply put, early intervention can help your child develop socially and behaviorally in a manner more typical of children without autism. This means that they will stand a better chance at succeeding in school and lead a happier, more fulfilling adult life.
Here at the Connections Therapy Center, we use different forms of therapy to address different areas of development impacted by autism. Occupational therapy is one such method. This form of treatment has significant cross-over with recreational therapy. If you consider how the ‘occupation’ of children is play and learning, this should make sense.
Most people are familiar with how autism impacts the social development of children. Recreational therapy, such as through sports or gardening, is a natural opportunity for children with autism to form interpersonal connections—especially when combined with speech and language therapy.
Fewer people, however, understand that autism can impact the development of motor skills as well. Recreational therapy has the potential to help significantly with that, too.
We take a holistic approach to early intervention for children, and will develop the right therapies suited to your child’s needs. If you’re interested in our services, please reach out.
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 the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and 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, Google+, and Pinterest.