Learning that your child may be different than your expectations is an important turning point in your life, as well as in the life of your child and other family members. You may worry about your child and what this will mean for his or her life experiences. You worry about how you and your family will adjust to this in the years ahead.You worry about the day to day challenges of caring for your child.
ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is proven to be the most effective therapy for individuals with autism. The following article discusses how to identify the warning signs and the important measures to take to provide the best care for your child.
What are the Early Signs of Autism?
A great reference for ASD information, including early warning signs, is the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html.
While every case of autism presents in a unique way, some commonly seen signs include but are not limited to:
Limited eye contact
Limited social interactions with others (such as sharing items or pointing)
Limited responding to their own name
Limited social engagement with peers (does not approach peers with interest)
Limited language understanding (receptive or expressive language)
Delayed or absent vocal speech
Limited appropriate play skills (not playing with toys how they were intended)
Extreme emotional responding to changes or transition of activities
Engaging in repetitive vocal sounds or physical actions
Sudden regression or loss of previous skills (language or play skills)
The occurrence of problem behaviors (aggression, self-injury, property destruction)
These symptoms can be seen and detected as early as 12 to 18 months of age and in some cases even earlier. Children should be monitored throughout development for warning signs.
High-risk groups such as children who have other siblings diagnosed with Autism should be monitored closely by physicians, parents, and caregivers.
How Early Should Intervention Begin?
Parents and caregivers are often very surprised to hear that treatment for Autism can begin at any age.
However, diagnosis by a developmental pediatrician or psychologist is often required and has been as early as 18 months old.
Research has shown that since infant brains are quite malleable, an early start largely impacts the child's growth and can decrease autism features.
Not only should intervention begin as soon as possible, but new research on early intervention ABA has also determined that an average of 30+ hours per week is ideal.
What is Accomplished in Early Intervention Treatment?
During ABA therapy, the treatment is individualized and targets a range of difficulties that children with ASD experience to help them participate meaningfully at home, school, and social settings.
Work is done on communication skills, daily living skills, imitation skills, play and social skills, cognitive skills, gross and fine motor skills, behavioral and safety skills.
When it comes to certain maladaptive behavior a child may have, the function of that behavior is identified and addressed.
This individualized treatment provides the most effective results.
Check out Empower Kids' Early Intervention Program by clicking on the link below:
Early Intervention in ABA
"When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower."