It’s perfectly normal for children to develop at different rates. However, if your child is lagging behind on some developmental milestones, it’s best to err on the side of caution and have him or her evaluated for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While some of the signs of autism may be detectable as early as six months, experts generally wait to diagnose autism until 18 months because the symptoms can continue to evolve for a while. Detecting autism in very young children is important for a number of reasons.
Many aspects of autism are still hotly debated, including the possibility that environmental factors could contribute to its development. However, autism experts do agree that the early detection of autism greatly contributes to a favorable outcome. This is because the sooner a child is found to have autism, the quicker their parents can arrange for autism therapy services . Children who can undergo intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy early in life tend to experience improved function and manageable symptoms.
As children enter school, the symptoms of autism tend to become more apparent. This is often because a particular child’s behavior and abilities is more readily comparable to those of his or her classmates. Unfortunately, when autism isn’t detected until a child is already in school, he or she may experience academic setbacks. Problems with communication and social interactions can hinder a youngster’s progress. When autism is detected early enough, parents can already see improvements in their children before they begin school.
The symptoms of autism are challenging for families. Although parents certainly want to help their youngsters in any way they can, it can be difficult to know how to respond to a child with autism. Families who detect autism early can take advantage of parent training courses. These types of classes are geared toward family empowerment and can help parents contribute to a child’s success.
Parents and caretakers are encouraged to enroll in parent training courses at The Behavior Exchange, which can empower your family to make a positive difference in your child’s life. Our autism therapists also offer The Behavior Exchange Early-Start Program (B.E.E.S.) to help preschoolers get ready for school success! Parents of youngsters with autism can call our location near Dallas at (972) 312-8733 for more information about our programs .