Autism And Development: Early Intervention Programs Help Autistic Children Blossom
Early intervention is crucial to the development of children with autism. Monroe County in New York has an early intervention program that greatly helps autistic kids' behavior and how their families interact with them.
The Monroe County Early Intervention Program teaches parents of children with autism how they need to interact with the patients, News 10NBC reported. Laurie Elson, whose son Charlie has autism, said they were "able to build an appropriate and happy relationship" with the child and made him blossom.
Early Intervention Programs Are A 'Lifesaver' And A 'Miracle'
Early intervention programs assist families with children under three years old who have developmental delays or disabilities such as autism. Early intervention starts with an evaluation, which is followed by therapeutic and support services for the autistic child and his/her family.
Elson said that early intervention programs have been "a lifesaver" and "a miracle" and that it improved their family's relationship. Prior to Charlie's early treatments, the child would not acknowledge his parents' affection. But now, the young boy willingly runs into his father's arms and say, "I miss you, I love you."
Elson advised other parents to not wait for your child to be tested for autism. According to her, it's better for the child if treatments and therapy start as soon as possible so there are more promising outcomes.
Improvements In IQ, Communication, And Social Interaction For Children With Autism
A study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2009 found that early intervention programs hugely benefit children with autism who are younger than three years old. Sally Rogers, the study's co-author and a researcher at the UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, California, said early intervention programs "capitalize" on the young children's "malleable" brains, which have great potential for learning, Autism Speaks reported.
Early intervention programs improve young autistic children's IQ, communication, and social interaction skills. Experts also believe that learning a second or third language (also called bilingualism) improves autistic children's critical thinking skills, attention, self-control, reading and writing abilities, and mental flexibility, among others, according to Spectrum News.
The La Trobe University-based Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, or OTARC, has made an app that helps detect autism early. The ASDetect app, which can be downloaded for free on iTunes and Google Play, helps parents and caregivers assess the social attention and communication behaviors of children younger than 2 ½ years old.
ASDetect does this by using videos, questions, and activities that adults can do alongside children. Each assessment can be completed between 20 and 30 minutes.