Importance of Early Intervention in ASD
Autism ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication skills, social interactional skills and behaviors. When a child is born, nobody sees anything wrong with them, the child seems to grow up typically as peers, but later the child may start showing some signs of Autism. Recent studies have found that signs and symptoms of Autism begin to emerge as early as 6-12 months.
Autism symptoms can continue to emerge or fade away until around 24 months, then only the diagnosis tends to become stable. However, based on the signs and symptoms, we can identify Autism ASD as early as 18 months. If Autism is caught in infancy, therapeutic intervention can take full advantage of the young brain’s remarkable plasticity.
There are 2 important contributing factors that play a key role in the overall development
- Brain Plasticity: Neuro/Brain plasticity refers to the structural and functional changes in the brain that are brought about by training and experience.
- Critical period: Critical periods are times when experience has a strong impact on brain development.
During the critical period, if we provide early intervention/stimulation, this can help to change the way the brain develops. This plasticity of the brain is maximal during the critical period. Recent studies support the start of intervention as early as possible for better outcomes. Recognizing the problem early and seeking Early Intervention is a key factor for parents and caretakers.
Early years of life are an important time for active brain development and organization. Early Intervention is a therapeutic program that focuses on improving the child’s overall development. It includes Speech Therapy, OT, SE, PT, ABA therapy, parental counseling, and parental training. In later intervention, the gap is more and is difficult to intervene than when the gap is less. With appropriate early intervention, we can reduce the gap in the development of later intervention. Overall development can proceed in typical fashion and the outcome will be better than later intervention.
If you suspect any signs and symptoms of ASD, consult the professional and go ahead with ASD evaluation and start with Early Intervention as soon as possible.
Last but not least, don’t follow the “Wait and See” approach, most parents might think let’s wait for a few months for any changes. Waiting time may lose the valuable time at which the child has the best chance for improvements.