For children with autism, early intervention is essential so that social skills like communication and emotional regulation can be developed to their fullest potential. Beginning recommended therapy once a diagnosis is received can help put your child on the best path to success.
Children with autism tend to learn best through small steps, repeated and consistent practice, and positive reinforcement. With early intervention, therapists can ensure all three of these tactics can be deployed.
Early intervention also can help re-direct challenging behaviors. A child who repeatedly opens and closes a drawer, for example, can be supported by teaching play skills with various toys (e.g. cause & effect) and learning more expressive communication. Early intervention also gives children time for learning in “building blocks,” starting with a foundational skill and gradually learning more complex social skills, like having a back-and-forth conversation. With early intervention, children with autism can achieve longer-term goals, like demonstrating autonomy and independence, building interpersonal relationships, and communicating needs.
Early intervention also has benefits for families and caregivers, like access to support networks, trusted resources, and professional guidance. As a parent, you learn valuable strategies for supporting your child at home, or in the community.
Getting a timely diagnosis of autism and beginning recommended therapy can help your child thrive in their communities.