It is widely accepted in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) that services should begin at the earliest point in time as it increases the likelihood of improved outcomes in the future.
Some of the reasoning behind this may include that when a child begins services at a young age they have a small “gap” between their developmental age and their chronological age to “catch-up” on.
For example, if a learner begins therapy at 2-years-old (their chronological age) and assessment suggests that they have the skills of someone around 1-year-old (their developmental age), then there is a 1-year gap of skills for them to “catch-up” on.
On the other hand, if a learner begins receiving services at - years-old and assessment suggests that they have the skills of someone around 1-year-old (their developmental age), then there is a 4-year gap of skills for them to “catch-up” on, which may be more difficult to achieve.
Some other potential benefits of early intervention include:
- An increase in vocal behavior
- Reduced disruptive behaviors in the future
- Reduced needs for future special education services (which leads to a financial saving in the future)
How do I know if my child needs early intervention?
What is commonly asked is how can a parent tell if their child is at risk for having autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As outlined on the Autism Speaks website, here are some early signs that may act as “red flags” for ASD:
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
- No babbling by 12 months
- No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
What do I do?
If your child is diagnosed with ASD and is not currently receiving early intervention services from a ABA provider, you should attend our open house (details below) to learn more about our early intervention programs, including our Toddler Achievement Program (TAP).
If you have noticed any of the deficits listed above in your child is it also recommended that you attend our open house (details below). During this time, we will have two psychologists on site that will be able to provide a complimentary screening of your child and provide you with recommendations on what your next steps should be.
When: Saturday, Oct. 1st – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: 9225 Bay Plaza Blvd, Suite 401, Tampa, FL 33619
Please note: We are expecting a large turnout for this event so please pre-register to ensure that we are able to accommodate your family.