Early intervention supports young children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Early intervention services can include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioural intervention. These services can help your child develop the skills they need to communicate, interact with others, and participate in the community.
How Early Can Autism Be Diagnosed?
The answer to this actually depends on many factors, mainly since the COVID-19 pandemic, access to practitioners has been a large contributor to the delay in a diagnosis. In general, however, most practitioners are able to diagnose children with ASD as early as 18 months of age.
There are many traits of ASD that parents and caregivers can look out for. These include speech and language development delays, challenges with social interaction and communication, and repetitive behaviours. If your child shows these signs, it’s crucial to speak to your GP or another healthcare professional as soon as possible.
ASD can be a complex condition to diagnose, as there is no single test or scan that can confirm the diagnosis. Instead, healthcare professionals will assess a child’s development, behaviour, and medical history to diagnose. Therefore, an ASD diagnosis is observational, and would be a team of practitioners such as your child’s paediatrician, Psychologist and Speech Pathologist.
Why Early Autism Diagnosis Is Important
Autism affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Early diagnosis of autism is important for two main reasons. First, early diagnosis can lead to early intervention. Early intervention is undoubtedly critical for children with autism because it can help them learn the skills they need to function in society. Second, early diagnosis can help families plan for the future. Families can use the diagnosis to access services and support to help their child reach their full potential, including the NDIS.
Benefits of Early Intervention for Children Diagnosed with Autism
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not an early intervention is beneficial for children diagnosed with autism. Some of the benefits of early intervention reported include:
Increased Social and Communication Skills
Early intervention can help children with ASD to develop social and communication skills. This is because early intervention provides opportunities for children to practice and develop these skills in various environments.
Increased Academic Achievement
Children who receive early intervention tend to further succeed academically than those who do not. This is likely because early intervention provides children with the opportunity to learn and practice academic skills.
Early intervention can help children with ASD to develop a better sense of self-esteem. This is because early intervention provides opportunities for children to succeed and feel good about themselves.
Independence is also important for children with ASD. Many children have difficulty with social skills and communication. As a result, they may need help learning how to interact with others and express themselves.
Teaching children with ASD the skills they need to be independent early on is an important part of their development. With the right support, children with ASD can learn to do many things on their own. This can lead to a better quality of life for these children and their families.
Early intervention is crucial for kids diagnosed with ASD. By providing early intervention services, we can help children develop the skills they need to thrive in their homes and communities.
Amazing Kids offers the services of a certified therapist who can help your child diagnosed with ASD. Contact us for more information!