According to research done in 2012 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are one in 88 reported cases of children with autism. Over the years, the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder has risen significantly. Autism Spectrum Disorder causes social, behavioral, and communication challenges. Given that autism can be described as a developmental disability, early intervention is recommended in order to counteract these challenges (Matson, 2006, p.101). It is significant to know that some of the challenges posed by autistic children can lead to delay in their growth thereby, making it hard for a child to develop a social life. Thus, early intervention during a child’s early development is important to forestall certain autistic symptoms that may interfere with performing day to day activities.
There are three major different types of interventions that include behavioral intervention, cognitive behavioral intervention, and developmental interventions (Risley, 2012, p.16). These services are prevalent in the society in that there are many cases of Autistic spectrum disorder reported. Services such as occupational therapy, communication therapy, physical therapy are among the few early forms of intervention to children who are autistic. Given that these services are available in the society, a child has to be examined and assessed by a physician in order to properly place a given child to the correct service that will be beneficial to the individual. According to Boyd there are three different categories that are used to assess an individual: First, a child with developmental delay second; second, a child with medical condition that will cause developmental delay and third, a child with the risk of developmental delay (Boyd, 2010. Pg.214-15)
Assessments by physicians for Autism Spectrum Disorder can be diagnosed as early as two years and older (Schertz, 2011, p.8). It is crucial to note that once a child has been assessed and categorized to a given form of service, the child is enrolled to Individualized Family Service Plan that incorporates some of the goals and the goals and given outcomes and expectations for a given service. These goals and strategies are used by the therapists and also the care taker or guardian of the child as a way of implementing the goals.
Autistic Developmental Disorder has affected more boys compare to girls. Matson writes, “One in 150 boys have been diagnosed with autism which is three to four times that girls” (Matson, 2006, p.139) This form of profiling is crucial to the greater society because parents and physicians can diagnose or assess a given gender more closely. It is crucial to note that profiling of autistic children has not yet been associated with a given race or people in a given socio-economic class. Thus, all parents should be mindful and closely monitor their children as they grow older for some of the signs that can be linked to autism for an early intervention. Given that autism does not have any cure or preventative measures, it is important for early intervention strategies that may be used to hinder delays in growth and decrease certain behaviors.
Early intervention among autistic children is important because it determines the type of behavioral and communication measures that can be put in place in order for autistic children to feel a sense of belonging to the society (Risley, 2012, p.12). Given that communication is a key instrument in today’s world, pre-linguistic tools are being used to ensure positive outcomes for autistic children. Also, the improvement of technology has enabled physicians to diagnose autism to children who are two years and younger which promotes awareness of some of the strategies that can be used while taking care of an autistic child. It is important to note that children’s mind grow while young and that should be the best time to instill certain behaviors as well as improving areas that have been delayed to grow as a result of autism (Schertz, 2011, pg142).
According to a research done by the National Resource Council, autistic children younger than five years old, have a better ability to improve areas where there is slow growth because of their condition than children older than five years old. Children with autism were divided into two groups, older than five years and younger than five years, and given the same routines and setups as part of their therapy to improving their condition. For example, the kids goals was to maintain eye contact and enable the kids to initiate communication. The children under the age of five mastered the routines way faster and with ease than the older kids (Schertz, 2004, p.48). This illustrates that early intervention is crucial to autistic children and that the therapies are more sufficient and beneficial because there is more improvement on areas of delay.
Early intervention among autistic children mean that a given set of guidelines are incorporated in the therapy process as a way of ensuring that a child learn certain measures of behavior and communication. Certain children enroll to these programs while they are already grown and in their youth years. According the Schertz, certain therapeutic measures that have to been used among the youth include the “push down method” (Schertz, 2011, p.13). Family members and caregivers ought to be active participants in reinforcing certain expectations from the individual to encouraging the autistic individual to perform certain skills. Family involvement encourages autistic individuals to also be social through teaching them certain strategies and techniques of communication or behavior.
In conclusion, it is evident that according to various researches, early intervention among autistic children is more proficient. Early intervention among autistic children helps them develop ways of communication with other people and also mold their behavior unlike those autistic individuals that do not receive early intervention. Given that that there are no preventative measures of cure for autism, parents and physicians should recommend a therapeutic program that will facilitate more improvement on areas of delay among autistic children. Also, the malleability of a child’s brain at a younger age is of benefit to autistic children because physicians and parents can incorporate some of the behaviors and communication techniques at an early stage where there is a form of developmental delay. Thus, it is crucial for physicians and the health care department to provide information and services to the greater population regarding early intervention among autistic children. Through providing information and services to caregivers and parents with autistic children, parents can focus on initiating progress in growth of the child rather than panicking or allowing delayed developmental disability that may interfere with the social life of the child. Given that most of the therapeutic programs of autistic children promote communication which is a huge tool in today’s world, autistic children can learn how to communicate with ease.
Boyd, B., & Shaw, E. (2010). Autism in the classroom: a group of students changing in population and presentation. Preventing School Failure,54(4, 213-219.
Matson, J., & Minshawi, N. (2006). Early intervention for autism spectrum disorders a critical analysis. London: Elsevier.
Risley, T. (2012). Family Preservation for Children With Autism. Journal of Early Intervention, 7-16.
Schertz, H., & Odom, S. (2004). Joint Attention and Early Intervention with Autism: A Conceptual Framework and Promising Approaches. Journal of Early Intervention, 87(4), 42-54.
Schertz, H. H., Baker, C., Hurwitz, S., & Benner, L. (2011). Principles of early intervention reflected in toddler research in autism spectrum disorders. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 31(1), 4-21.