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Why Early Intervention is Important for Autism

Why Early Intervention is Important for Autism

Because autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder, early therapy can make a significant difference in helping your child build skills that improve quality of life. Thanks to early assessment, more children are receiving a timely diagnosis and getting the care they need. 

On average, children with autism are diagnosed by six years old. However, a diagnosis can be made as early as 18 months. The team at PediaPlex specializes in diagnosing and treating autism spectrum disorders in one location. 

What is early intervention for autism?

Early intervention includes a variety of therapies like speech, occupational, physical, and ABA therapy. PediaPlex implements research-based therapies tailored to the needs of the child. 

Our team stresses the importance of involving parents and adult caregivers in the therapy. An example includes having parents present to learn skills and encourage communication. 

Our therapeutic programs include spontaneous communication, cognitive development, play and social interaction skills, and a proactive approach to undesirable behaviors.

Intensive therapy is five days a week for five hours with a lot of individual adult attention. Therapy involves structured instructional trials and teaching in the child's natural environment, which means that sessions may take place in the center but may also be very beneficial in the home and everyday settings. 

Regardless of the setting, you can be confident that our team will employ research and evidence-based treatment programs that have shown success and growth in children with autism.

Early intervention is essential 

Early intervention for autism is critical, and fortunately, autism is now better understood than ever before. Autism screening tools have become increasingly important as we have learned to recognize warning signs earlier and more thoroughly. 

With the increasing prevalence of autism in young children today, early autism screening ensures that no child falls through the cracks. We want the best for our children as parents, but we don't always know where to begin. Early screening is a great place to start!

Autism professionals agree that developmental success requires specific treatment components such as intensity, generalization, family involvement, and data. Many programs for autistic children now have different philosophies and designs, but one remains the gold standard: applied behavior analysis.

Early ABA can benefit children

Higher intensity treatment (up to 40 hours per week) is associated with better gains in cognitive functioning. Many children who receive intensive ABA-based therapy can "catch up" to the average range in their intellectual and educational functioning. 

Children with autism learn best through small steps and repeated consistent practice. In ABA treatment, for example, putting on pants is frequently taught in four or more steps, with each step sufficiently practiced. 

More complex skills, such as conversing back and forth, require more "building blocks" and learning. With such a nuanced skill breakdown, children need time to practice and generalize the steps to form a coherent skill set.

ABA therapy is intense, but it is also enjoyable, and the learning is meaningful! Play is essential, and much of our therapy focuses on play and social interaction.

Recognizing the signs of autism early

Being aware of the signs of autism helps parents catch potential developmental differences earlier and have their child screened for autism. Infants between the ages of 12 and 18 months can show early signs. 

If your baby doesn’t seem to notice or respond to people, has any type of language delay, and is fixated on an object all the time, they may be exhibiting early symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

Toddlers who do not respond to their names, avoid eye contact, or spend time doing repetitive movements like rocking or flapping their arms, may also benefit from autism screening.

At PediaPlex, our team provides the support your child needs in one place. To get started, call our knowledgeable team members to schedule a visit for an evaluation at one of our offices in Southlake, Fort Worth, or Frisco, Texas. We want to help your child thrive! 

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