Autism early intervention can be defined as a program designed to help young children (typically babies and toddlers) who experience delays in pivotal developmental skills. Early intervention can be life-changing for many children, as they are building skills at an early age, before behaviors become too learned and engrained. In many cases, early intervention can resolve delays or problem behaviors before they become an issue. Early intervention can also be important in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA). In the field of ABA, professionals study the science behind behavior, including the function of behaviors and how behavior is affected by the environment. ABA will also work to resolve problematic behaviors and build new positive behavior. As a result, ABA therapy can be a helpful strategy for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). So, why is it important to apply early intervention in ABA therapy?
Why is autism early intervention so important in ABA therapy?
While ABA therapy can be effective for individuals of a wide range of ages, the strategies are most effective for children before the age of five. In order for a program to be considered “early intervention,” it will start before the child reaches the age of four. Many children will actually start ABA therapy around the time they reach 18-30 months old. This may seem early, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend that all children who are between the ages of 18 and 24 months receive a screening for autism. At this early of an age, it is easier to shape the behaviors of a child, before learned behaviors become engrained. Once a behavior has become learned (based on the environment and experiences of a child), it is much more difficult to “un-learn” that behavior and replace it with a different behavior.
Benefits of early intervention ABA therapy
Children with autism who are engaged in early intervention ABA therapy have a greater chance of building pivotal developmental skills, such as communication, language, and social skills. Studies have also shown that ABA therapy can help to raise the IQ score in young children who receive early intervention therapy.
More about ABA therapy
There are many benefits of ABA therapy, but this does not come without hard work from the child, parents or caregivers, and a dedicated team of professionals. Many children with autism who receive early intervention will spend at least one year in ABA therapy. Some children might also have daily ABA sessions, totaling 25 or more hours per week. Remember, every child has unique abilities and needs, so assessments will help the ABA therapist to determine a treatment plan that is right for your child. ABA therapy certainly does not have a one-size-fits-all formula!
Could your child benefit from early intervention ABA therapy?
Chicago ABA Therapy provides ABA therapy for children in Chicago, as well as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and a therapeutic preschool program.
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