Many parents may not be aware their child is displaying classic signs of autism. They battle uncertainty with regard to their child’s progression. Often times, parents begin noticing perplexing behaviors and/or find themselves having difficulty managing problem behaviors.
In order to determine whether or not some degree of developmental delay or autism is prevalent, parents are urged to schedule an assessment for their child. Find a licensed clinical psychologist in your area to determine if your child is on the autism spectrum. For parents who have established a diagnosis of autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, Rett’s, or CDD already, please contact us for assistance receiving the insurance funded services your child is now entitled to under Massachusetts law.
Early intervention applies to children of school age or younger who are discovered to have or be at risk of developing a handicapping condition or other special need that may affect their development. Early intervention consists of the provisioning of services for children and their families for the purpose of lessening the effects of the condition. Early intervention can be remedial or preventive in nature–remediating existing developmental problems or preventing their occurrence.
Early intervention may focus on the child alone or on the child and the family together. Early intervention programs may be center-based, home-based, hospital-based, or a combination. Services range from identification–that is, hospital or school screening and referral services–to diagnostic and direct intervention programs. Early intervention may begin at any time between birth and school age; however, there are many reasons for it to begin as early as possible.
Be aware of the following developmental delays which are among the most common symptoms of autism or related developmental disorders:
- Limited eye contact at 3 months
- Little or no smiling or expressions of joy by 6 months
- A lack of smiles and/or facial expressions by 9 months
- Limited to no babbling by 12 months
- Limited or no gesturing, reaching, pointing, or waving by 12 months
- Very limited or no words by 16 months
- A lack of responding to the child’s name by 10 months
- Loss of speech or babbling, or diminished social skills at any age
- Repetitive movements such as hand flapping
- Devoted to nonfunctional routines or rituals
The symptoms of autism typically appear during the first three years of life, however, early signs may be observed between the ages of 16 to 18 months. Among the most common and difficult challenges are functional language and communication, social interactions, and play activities
Age-appropriate social and language skills are best treated with early intervention. Individuals age 6 and older may also make significant improvements in language, play, and social skills with a tailor made, evidence-based intervention developed by an experienced, board certified professional. If you suspect the above mentioned developmental delays or learning disorders, you are strongly advised to seek a behavioral therapy service provider such as Autism Intervention Specialists. Contact us for more information about your options.
AIS offers a multitude of effective 1:1 ABA interventions, parent training, social, language, and play skill based programs, and much more for children and individuals with autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, Rett’s, and CDD. Our services are grounded in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the most widely researched and scientifically-validated method for treating autism. For more information about ABA and how it can help you, please contact us.