Even for parents of children that are not on the spectrum, there is no such thing as a normal child.”- Quote by Violet Stevens, Mother of a child with Autism.
A stitch in time saves nine” goes the old English adage. In the case of Autism Spectrum Disorder, for early detection and intervention, this quotation certainly applies. Now that awareness is greater than ever before, Autism is more common than we think or acknowledge. In some form or the other, we are all bound to know at least one person who is on the spectrum.
The earliest warning signs of ASD are:
Early signs can be detected in infants in the age group of 12-18 months. If the baby does not respond to people around him/her, exhibits any form of language delay as well as fixates on an object all the time, the baby could be showing early symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder.
Older babies/toddlers around 2 years or more do not respond to their names, avoid eye contact, lack joint attention or spend time in repetitive movements such as rocking or arm flapping.
Playing with toys such as lining them up in a row are signs for a family member or relative to look out for.
Why is early intervention important?
Early intervention aids in increasing a child’s overall development.
Early intervention helps the children to gain social skills.
They are able to adjust and adapt to public settings.
There is an improvement in the quality of life.
Parents receive guidance and counseling on how to be parent better from counselors, specialists ad therapists.
The children are taught essential life and self-help skills.
There is an increased coping mechanism for families and caregivers. They are better equipped in various ways to handle the journey ahead.
Maladaptive behaviors can be removed/minimized with early intervention and therapy.
Young Amelia Cooper, 2 years and living with her folks in Oakland County, Michigan was diagnosed with the spectrum when she was about 18 months old. She is currently attending a special school for youngsters with ASD. Here she is undergoing support via the evidence-based ABA (Applied behavior analysis) therapy for the past few months. Much to her parent’s relief, there has been considerable progress in terms of her speech, listening as well as learning. Early intervention is the reason for this progress feels her parents. They feel it’s made a huge difference in the life of their daughter as well as their lives. We wish Young Amelia and her family the best of luck and love on her life journey ahead.
Therefore you can see the advantages of early detection and intervention is manifold. It’s in the best interest of the patient, the family, and the community if an early intervention takes place leading to ABA or other forms of therapy by trained and experienced professionals. The overall quality of life for the patients is improved with times and they are better equipped to take on life and its various challenges with equanimity & a big smile on their faces.