People are often surprised when they find out that we can provide valuable support to children with Autism and other developmental delays as early as 18 months of age - even before a diagnosis.
If you remember only one thing from reading this blog, make it that:
Early intervention is the key to unlocking your child’s potential.
You may be thinking “All children develop at different rates, and this does not necessarily mean they have autism or need intervention?” We agree, but when there are differences which are holding them back, then why not provide some help. Starting as soon as these signs become apparent makes a big difference, so why wait.
To explain why early intervention is so important, think about this:
Our aim is to help your child develop independence in life by increasing the quality of their social interactions, communication, self-care or emotional development. Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) first looks at any barriers to a child’s ability to learn these new skills. They might not be speaking yet, their motor skills might be delayed or sensory needs take over completing everyday activities. When a child has had to find their own way to manage these difficulties, we often see them displaying behaviours such as tantrums, aggression towards them self or others, introversion, or self-stimulatory sounds, words or movements.
The longer a child has practised these behaviours, the longer it takes to reduce them. These barriers to learning become more solid and ingrained all the time they are serving the purpose they want them to. If we are going to teach our children the correct ways to behave we must break down these barriers as quickly possible and open up a world of opportunity for new experiences. When we think about just how quickly children can learn, it makes sense that the earlier we intervene the greater progress can be made.
Let’s not forget, children should be allowed to be children - to play and learn through their experiences without difficulties such as autism standing in the way. The great thing about ABA is that learning is always built around motivation, so the child is always learning in fun, real-life ways that result in them developing skills that are useful and age-appropriate. Our methods are not, as some people believe, to sit a child at a table and drill them with non-meaningful information.
In our experience, children love coming to our centre and enjoy exploring new experiences and finding new ways to manage their difficulties - often completely unaware of just how much they are learning!
Of course, it is NEVER too late to help your child and ABA strategies can help at any age but just remember that you don’t have to wait for a diagnosis to make these strategies a way of your child’s life from as early an age as possible.
If you have a child aged between 0-5 years who is showing a different pattern in their development which is making everyday life difficult, give us a call to see how we can make a difference to their (and your) life.