Effective Programming for Young Children with Autism (Ages 3-5)

Effective Programming for Young Children with Autism (Ages 3-5)

by Susan Stokes Autism Consultant

Introduction

The positive outcome of early intervention programming for any child with developmental delays/disabilities has been documented in numerous research articles and publications. However, unlike many other developmental disabilities, children with autism are typically not diagnosed until between the ages of two and three, as there are no medical tests to make a definitive diagnosis of autism at an earlier age. Many medical professionals prefer to take a "wait and see" approach, due to the wide range of "normalcy" in early developing children. Thus early intervention programming can often be delayed for these children, resulting in the "loss" of several critical years of intensive intervention during which significant developments in the brain are occurring. Due to this time factor, once a diagnosis is given, early intervention programming becomes crucial to appropriately address the child's needs in all developmental areas and, most importantly, to develop the child's ability to function independently in all aspects of his life.

This issue of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Series will guide you through the variables that should be considered when working with very young children with Autism. This article will help you assist the child in early intervention make a more productive transition to early childhood education services

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