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The Importance of Early Intervention with ABA Therapy

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can sometimes be identifiable in children as young as 18 months of age or even younger. We can make the most significant improvements by quickly identifying and addressing the signs and symptoms.

Identifying ASD

As we have learned more about ASD, we have come to find that it is identifiable younger than previously thought. Most children can be diagnosed by age two, much sooner than assumed years ago.

The signs of ASD fall into three types of development: social, behavioral, and communication. Every child naturally has different strengths and weaknesses. And child development is not always cut and dry. Children with ASD also will have different strengths and weaknesses, and the signs one child shows will not be the same as another. Some common differences to watch out for include:

Social Characteristics

  • Poor eye contact

  • Not understanding pointing at objects

  • No response to smiling or different expressions

  • Not using gestures (such as waving)

  • Not noticing when others are hurt or upset

Behavioral Characteristics

  • Lining up toys or objects

  • Repeating words or phrases over and over

  • Being very focused on specific parts of toys or objects

  • Easily upset by minor changes

  • Flapping hands, rocking body

Communication Characteristics

  • Not responding to their name by nine months

  • Uneven language development

  • Repetitive “stock” phrases in conversations

  • Certain speech tones, such as using robot-like speech, high-pitched, or sing-song-type voice

Impact of Early Intervention

Studies show that early intervention treatment can make a significant difference in the progress children with ASD can make across their lives. One study of children from 18-30 months old showed that consistent ABA improved their IQ, with an average of an 18-point increase in children’s IQs after receiving ongoing ABA therapy. Another study of children 3-5 years old showed a significant reduction of symptoms of ASD after receiving early intervention ABA therapy.

Early intervention helps children immediately as they begin showing signs of ASD. But it can also impact their lives as they grow up. Developing needed skills and understanding early on sets them up for success as they age. It can also prevent challenging behaviors from becoming ingrained and prepare them for school. Studies have shown children who receive ABA early on can “catch up” to age-appropriate levels in academic skills.

Early Intervention for You

Is your child under the age of 5? Have they begun to demonstrate some developmental delays? Has your child been diagnosed with ASD? Visit the CDC guidelines for ASD diagnosis or contact your pediatrician if you are concerned about your child’s development. For more information on our early intervention services, click here to contact us for a consultation!

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