Early Intervention for Autism: What You Need to Know

June 15, 2023

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition characterized by diminished verbal communication abilities, repetitive behaviors, and impaired social interactions. It can often be detected and accurately diagnosed in a child as young as 18 months. An early diagnosis gives your child the ability to begin working towards building foundational skills sooner. Early intervention for autism capitalizes on the potential learning capabilities of a very young child’s brain, and it can result in significant advances in your child’s growth and development over time. 

What Is Early Intervention for Autism? 

Early intervention for Autism is the process of providing services and support to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as early as possible. The goal of early intervention services is to help children with ASD reach their full potential in all areas of development, including social, emotional, communication, and academic skills. 

Why Is Early Intervention for Autism Important? 

Early intervention for autism is suggested at or just before preschool age – for very good reason. In their first three years, a young child’s brain is still malleable. It can be molded, shaped, and taught many different things. The scientific term for this plastic-like stage of brain development is neuroplasticity. Taking advantage of this unique part of the developmental process allows early intervention to have a higher chance of success.  

Subsequently, early intervention and early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) not only influence a young child’s progress, but both also have a significant impact on interrupting problematic behavior. Early individualized treatment encourages positive behaviors and stops problematic habits before a child reaches school age, thus resulting in lasting results and improved development. 

What Are the Benefits of Early Intervention for Autism? 

When children with developmental delays receive the necessary intervention services at an early age, the skills they demonstrate in all areas of their development can show significant advances. 

Common outcomes of early intervention services for children with autism include: 

  • Improved motor skills 
  • Functional language abilities
  • Increased independence 
  • Improved social skills 
  • Stronger parent-child relationships
  • Increased quality of life
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved self-regulation and coping skills

What Early Intervention Programs Are Available to Children with Autism?

The type of early intervention services a child receives will depend on their unique needs. Some children may benefit from a few hours of therapy each week, whereas other children may need more intensive services to fulfill their developmental needs. 

The programs in early intervention for autism are wide in scope and focus on distinct areas of a child’s development. Some of the key programs that a child may qualify for include:

  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Nutrition services
  • Hearing impairment services
  • Family training 
  • Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy 
  • Early intensive behavioral therapy (EIBT)

Where Can I Find the Right Early Intervention Services for My Child?

About Play is a fantastic organization that offers an array of early intervention services, including evaluations, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and more. Our incredible early intervention specialists are uniquely trained to help children with autism and other developmental delays build the foundational skills they need to reach their full potential through individualized programs. 

If your child has been diagnosed with autism or other developmental delay, it's best to begin an early intervention program as soon as possible. Contact us to learn more about how About Play’s early intervention services can help your family. 


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