Autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 4 children across diverse backgrounds. With signs and symptoms presenting as early as six to eight months of age, early intervention for autism can ease stress for children and parents. Applied behavior analysis, also called ABA, is an effective tool for helping parents, children, therapists, and educators assess a child’s strengths and challenges, assess growth, and establish manageable goals for achieving a safe, nurturing, and relatively normal life. Children with autism often respond well with early intervention therapies focused on language, social skills, and understanding the complex world around them. Early intervention programs help parents foster learning, bonding, and cooperation at home, which later translates into classroom and life success.
Online programs from the aba|tools database provide diverse analysis and training for learners with autism, families, educators, and therapists at your fingertips. Learn more here.
Signs for Early Intervention
Children with autism present with a variety of symptoms throughout early development. While each child is unique, some common symptoms include:
- A lack of communication: Children with language delays may not respond to their names, point at familiar objects, or avoid eye contact.
- A lack of mirror response: Toddlers on the autism spectrum may smile back at a smiling person or babble in response to a parent or caretaker speaking.
- Spinning: Young children on the autism spectrum may repetitively spin the wheels of toy cars or spin in circles
- Other developmental indications: These may include difficulty controlling voice volume, aversion to most foods, sensitivity to touch, fixation on objects or activities, as well as hyper, repetitive behaviors like rocking, toe walking, or hand gestures.
Learning to identify signs of autism in the first two years of a child’s life can greatly impact developmental outcomes. Depending on your ABA therapist or BCBA, ABA therapy may look more like playtime than therapy. However, your child’s therapist can target specific skills to promote growth. Some children with autism spectrum disorder show few signs of autism and develop natural skills until 18 to 24 months. For these children, their skills may regress, or they no longer gain new skills. Early intervention training can help children meet receptive identification, verbal behavior, and communication goals.
ABA Materials for Early Intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Early intervention occurs around age 2 or 3 before a young child enters preschool. The brain is more adaptable at this age, allowing for habit-forming activities and learning that have a long-lasting effect. For some, early intervention can help a child grow out of the spectrum later in life. Tools for early intervention may include:
- Mirroring games that focus on children copying social behavior in adults.
- Speech therapy to develop muscles in the mouth, tongue, and neck for clear speech.
- Games to visually identify objects, emotions, and facial expressions.
- Nutrition counseling to assess allergies that may be affecting symptoms.
- Physical therapy to develop muscle strength and motor skills.
- Family therapy to develop systems for support, understanding, and resilience.
There are countless resources like the Verbal Matrix® to support children with autism in their formative years. Through early intervention, many children go on to lead relatively normal lives with strong family bonds. For some, the most effective intervention programs are done from the comfort of their own homes, providing a secure learning environment that meets a family’s needs.
Register for aba|tools for More Information
The aba|tools program provides parents with applied behavioral analysis tools to meet their child’s needs from the comfort of home. Our digital language development content library serves parents, teachers, and therapists with clinician-developed tools to help meet each child’s language learning needs. Founded by a BCBA, aba|tools is a convenient, adaptable autism tablet software focused on verbal behavior. To begin applied behavioral analysis therapy for non-verbal learners, register to use aba|tools today.