early intervention autism

Autism and Early Intervention

Research shows that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) benefit greatly form early intervention therapy, especially long term. It is giving them the best start and chance of living to the best of their potential. The Earlier, the Better. Early diagnosis of and interventions for autism are more likely to have major long-term positive effects on symptoms and later developing into skills. As soon as you have a diagnosis, it’s important that you do as much as you can to benefit your child, as soon as you can.

Autism is not rare. In Australia it affects 1 in 100 people. There is no cure, but as we know, research shows early intervention leads to improved outcomes for children with autism, including higher intelligence (IQ) and increased social and daily living skills. Young children with autism who receive the recommended early intervention have a much greater chance, later in life, of living independently, securing employment and developing meaningful and lasting relationships. Please don’t panic if your child is diagnosed at a later age. The brain is ‘plastic’ throughout life and there is always room and hope for positive changes for your child. Many early intervention programs can be adapted to older age groups.

Early intervention refers to doing things as early as possible to work on your child’s ASD characteristics.

Early intervention for children with ASD is made up of:

Therapies – the sessions or programs aimed at helping your child’s development, for example: speech therapist or Occupational therapist.

Services – the place or organization that offer the therapy. A service or business might offer One specific therapy or several different types of therapies.

Starting Intervention as young as possible or as early as possible, is most effective with helping the development of children with ASD. Children with ASD are slow with learning due to many different problems, so intervention as early as possible makes total sense.

Another reason for starting intervention early is that it can help children with early brain development. The brains of children with ASD develop differently than that of a ‘normally growing’ brain of another child. They grow or progress a little and then stop or plateau for a little bit, to catch up if you will. While normal brain development will keep developing on a continual scale.

There are 3 options for Early Intervention

Behavioral Intervention

Developmental Intervention

Combined Interventions 

These interventions then branch out to specific therapies or treatments for ASD;

*Behavioral management therapy

*Cognitive behaviour therapy

*Educational and school based therapies

*Joint attention therapy

*Medication treatment

*Nutritional therapy

*Occupational therapy

*Parent-mediated therapy

*Physical therapy

*Social skills training

*Speech-language therapy

These combined interventions should help children gain the basic skills that they usually learn in the first years of life, such as; Physical, Thinking, communication, social and emotional skills.

What to look for in an early intervention for autism spectrum disorder

The golden rule to success, is whatever path of intervention you choose, intensity matters. Which is difficult as intervention is expensive. So, when choosing an intervention program for your child you want to be choosy. What are there top needs or areas that are affecting their life & there are a few more important things to consider:

*Does this therapy work?

* Is it proven to be effective?

*Will it work for us?

*Will the therapy suit our own family’s needs?

The recommended intensity, is 20hrs per week of high quality, autism-specific early intervention for the best positive outcome.

All therapies and services for children with ASD should be family centered, well structured & based on good evidence. A recommendation from a friend with a child who also has autism (if you are lucky enough to have a group of people around you) or from school/ daycare is also a good idea. On saying this don’t just go on someone’s word, thoroughly check out the company / therapist.

The Intervention or therapy that is one of the most common is Speech therapy, as communication is one of the top in living.

Communication is a massive reason for starting early with intervention. The frustration and tantrums grow quickly when to do with problems with communication.

After taking your time to investigate, whatever intervention you choose will be positive on your child’s growth, just how much depends on intensity and all the other considerable s we have already mentioned.

Good luck on your journey with Intervention for Autism.

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