According to research studies, when there are early diagnosis and intervention for children with autism, that shows significant long-term benefits. It is not uncommon for children under the age of two to receive an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The main reason is that a child’s development seems normal until around the age of two when they begin regressing. That also means, one of the benefits of early intervention for autism includes participation in an autism spectrum disorder treatment program.
Understanding the Benefits of Early Intervention for Autism
Early intervention for autism begins at or right before school age, typically between the ages of two or three. A child’s brain is still forming during this time. Many refer to these formative years as being more changeable or “plastic” than any other time in their lives. It is because of this plasticity that children benefit the most from early intervention for autism spectrum disorder and the long-term effects.
Babies and toddlers can participate in programs focusing on early intervention for autism through in-home services or at a facility in their community. Depending on which skills are delayed, a variety of specialists are available to work with children. When children receive these services early, it helps them to not only catch up in school but thrive and experience positive effects throughout their life.
Knowing Why Early Intervention for Autism is Important
Participating in early intervention for autism is important not only for the child but parents as well. For example, in addition to skills development and goal achievement, there is also autism support for parents through these programs. These early intervention programs strive to achieve many goals, including the following:
Cognitive skills development: Helping a child develop learning, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
Communication skills: Developing and enhancing listening to, talking to, and understanding of others.
Physical skills: Developing and enhancing a child’s building, crawling, drawing, reaching, and walking skills.
Self-help skills: These skills are defined as the adaptive skills children need, including dressing and eating.
Social skills: Emotional skills also fall under the umbrella of social skills, and include interacting and playing with their peers.
Determining if Your Child Qualifies for Early Intervention
Early intervention for autism includes understanding if your child is eligible or meets the qualifications. The appropriate ages for early intervention include children from birth to the age of three. Meeting eligibility requirements means your child must meet specific criteria. For example, if your child is experiencing a developmental delay, that could qualify them for early intervention. Another example is if the child is experiencing a health condition that could lead to developmental delays. Such health conditions include birth defects, genetic disorders, and hearing loss.
Every state has different rules regarding eligibility requirements. While all states offer programs for early intervention for autism, they do not all have the same guidelines. For example, some states define developmental delays differently and offer services for various health conditions.
You might also notice that some states offer services for children who could be at risk for developmental delays. The factors they use for determining if a child is at risk is if they had exposure to drugs, a low birth weight, or were exposed to specific environmental issues. No matter the case, a healthcare professional might refer your child to a specialist for an evaluation.
Because it is not uncommon for parents to have several questions regarding the benefits of early intervention for autism, receiving support is critical. Reach out for help now and receive the information you need. Contact your child’s doctor to learn more about early intervention, the services available, and the support you can receive.