Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending that all 18- to 24-month-olds are screened for autism, the average age of diagnosis in the US is 6 years old.
However, delays in getting a diagnosis can make a big difference to the child’s long-term development. Diagnosing children with ASD as early as possible can help ensure that they get the best possible care and support so they can reach their full potential.
What is autism and how is it diagnosed?
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability. People with the condition often struggle with communication, have repetitive behaviors or interests, and may have a different way of learning.
One way of diagnosing the condition is with developmental monitoring, which is an ongoing process that involves watching how the child behaves with their family and peers. It also involves monitoring their skills and abilities to see when they reach key milestones for speech and behavior.
Another way ASD is diagnosed is through developmental screening, which involves formal visits at different ages to see how the child is developing. It involves questionnaires and checklists, with doctors comparing the child’s development to other children of the same age.
When it comes to intervention for ASD, there are many techniques. However, the most frequently used is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This is the most widely accepted way of helping children with autism, and there is a lot of evidence that shows a high level of effectiveness for getting results.
The two ABA styles are:
1 – Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
This method uses step-by-step instructions to help children learn different behaviors. Lessons are broken down into simple parts, then the desired behaviors are rewarded and the behaviors that are less desirable are ignored by the therapist.
2 – Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
Another method is PRT which, unlike DTT, doesn’t take place in a clinical setting. The objective of this method is to teach a few “pivotal skills” that the child can build on, like starting a conversation. For autism therapy Los Angeles has a variety of ABA clinics offering these different services in a clinical setting, at home, in school, or even online.
There are other types of intervention that take a different approach, like focusing on improving a core language or other developmental skills. A common type of therapy for children with ASD is Speech and Language Therapy.
As well as professional support, parents of children with autism are often encouraged to find complementary treatments to help the child at home alongside their autism family therapy Los Angeles is home to many autism resources such as art therapy, social skills groups and animal therapy. And these, along with regular reading, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques can provide a child with an enriching experience.
The benefits of early intervention
There are many benefits to receiving support for autism early on, including improved communication and social skills. Children who get help at a younger age can make more progress in a multitude of areas, including speech, listening skills, following instructions, and reading.
Studies have shown that by attending autism therapy, Los Angeles families should see their children making more progress by the time they are teenagers and young adults, and in many cases, this can mean improved outcomes throughout their lives.
An autism diagnosis can also be stressful for families. But early intervention means that families are more likely to get the support they need early on, and this can reduce their anxiety. If you’re looking for autism family therapy, Los Angeles has plenty of professional services to choose from. Read Also!