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Why Early Intervention for Autism Is Important

Do you think your toddler is missing some important milestones, such as forming words and enjoying his relationship with you? If your bundle of joy isn’t responding as you think he should, your parent’s intuition shouldn’t be ignored. 

If your baby isn’t babbling and pointing, reaching, or waving in back-and-forth communication with you and/or has limited eye contact, you should contact your primary care provider and share your concerns. They can guide you to the appropriate specialist to evaluate your child’s progress. Early intervention is important if your child is diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. 

If your child is suspected of being on the autism spectrum after testing, you have important decisions to make. Selecting the most effective therapeutic setting can make a difference in your child’s future progress. Our trained occupational therapists and our speech therapist at Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy are ready to help your child on the autism spectrum achieve his fullest potential. At our two offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, we help complete your child’s professional treatment team.  

Why early intervention makes a difference in children with autism

If your toddler isn’t making eye contact and doesn’t care to be held, doesn’t respond to his name, and/or engages in repetitive actions, he’s not developing the social and emotional skills needed to function in the world. You may see some of these signs as early as six months. 

Screening by a trained professional with a validated assessment instrument can diagnose autism spectrum disorder by the time your child is 18 months old, and new tools under development may result in an earlier diagnosis. But behavioral surveillance and screening for developmental delays that could signal autism should start by nine months, during pediatric visits. 

The median age for diagnosis of autism in children in the U.S. is 4.3 years old because families wait to see if the child will “grow out of it.” Valuable time is lost during these early years if no intervention takes place. 

Research shows that early intervention, before all of the symptoms are full blown, can improve the long-term outcomes for your child. If your child shows developmental delays, interventions can start before preschool age. Your child’s brain has more plasticity when very young than it will have later, so treatment is more likely to take effect and be longlasting the earlier it begins. 

You want your child to live up to his fullest potential. Early intervention gives him that chance. Autism spectrum guidelines now recommend intervention as soon as the condition is diagnosed or before it takes place when behaviors aren’t in line with normal development and show symptoms of autism. In summary, early intervention can improve your child’s physical, thinking, communication, social, and emotional skills

Early intervention at Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy 

Our early intervention includes the following treatment modes. 

Speech therapy 

As your child grows, communicating with others is an important skill he needs to develop to function. In addition to one-on-one therapy that strengthens your child’s facial muscles to improve his pronunciation and output if that is needed, our therapists also work on how to work and play with others, such as asking for a turn with a toy or showing interest in a playmate by asking a question. The earlier these interventions take place, the further along your child will be in his speech and social-emotional development. 

Occupational therapy 

Occupational therapy at Little Wonders Pediatric Therapy helps improve your child’s fine and gross motor skills, coping skills when frustrated and angry or when making transitions, social-emotional skills in recognizing others’ feelings and being able to communicate in a reciprocal manner, better adaptation to sensory challenges, and more. 

Call or book an appointment online with LIttle Wonders Pediatric Therapy today for a consultation about how we can help your child develop and thrive. 

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