For children with autism, behavioral signs can show as early as 6 to 12 months. Most professionals will not officially diagnose until 18 months, as symptoms can continue to change over time. However, symptoms can re-emerge between 18 months and 24 months. This constant up and down can be a lot to worry about for parents. But, it is never too early to ask for evaluations at each checkup, as they help check on general development. They can suggest to professionals whether a child is displaying early signs of autism spectrum disorder. Let’s go over the importance of early intervention.
Sets Kids Up for Success
Studies have shown that catching signs of autism before all of the symptoms have emerged can improve long-term outcomes for your child. If your child shows developmental delays, interventions can begin before preschool age. Your child’s brain has more plasticity when young, so treatment is more likely to be effective and long-lasting the earlier it begins. This allows your child to quickly pick up on new skills. All parents want their children to live up to their fullest potential. Early intervention gives them that chance.
Practice Skills Early
Social skills are critical to your child’s well-being when starting school. These include taking turns, waiting their turn, self-control, and how to be part of a group. Children on the autism spectrum sometimes have difficulty understanding social cues and participating in social settings. Critical social skills can be reinforced early, giving your child the opportunity for a lot of practice before starting school.
Improves Language Skills
Children begin processing language at a very young age. Your child’s communication skills are the most important things to support in their early years. It will help your child connect with others, express their emotions, and understand the environment in which they live. Early intervention is crucial for receptive and expressive language skills. The earlier it begins, the greater the chance your child will gain proper speech skills.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Learning, thinking, and problem-solving are critical skills we learn as children that we use for our entire lives. Autism spectrum disorder can cause cognitive delays and affect a child’s capacity for learning. Luckily, areas of weakness can be targeted through early intervention strategies involving group activities, structured playtime, and more. In fact, helping your child be a more effective learner will make them more confident in school.
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, and Pinterest.