Did you know that early intervention strategies can increase your child’s IQ by an average of 17.6 points? Early intervention for children with autism is imperative to success later in life.
But, what are the strategies for autism used within early intervention? And why are they so effective? Keep reading to find out the answers to both of those questions and more.
Early Intervention for Autism
Early intervention typically begins prior to or at pre-school age. Children at this age have a higher level of plasticity in their brains.
Because your child’s brain is still forming at this age it is more changeable, making early intervention strategies more effective.
For some children with autism, the use of early intervention can help them so much that they are no longer on the spectrum when they are older. These children have a few things in common.
Typically, they have been diagnosed and received treatment at a younger age and have better motor and language skills. In addition, these children have a higher IQ compared to other children with autism.
This higher IQ can often get attributed to language skills developed in early intervention.
Early Intervention Strategies
Early intervention strategies will look different for every child. Your child’s plan will be created specifically to their needs. However, there are some common strategies used within early intervention.
Applied Behavioral Analysis
Applied behavioral analysis or ABA is a commonly used strategy with children with autism under five years old. ABA focused on identifying and modifying behavior.
While ABA focuses on behaviors, it also helps in many other ways, including increasing language and social skills. Children with autism with aggressive behaviors can also benefit from ABA and autism aggressive behavior strategies.
Because ABA is working to increase positive behaviors, one way to do this is by introducing calming strategies for autism. Some of these could include creating a calm corner and teaching coping skills.
Social stories are great teaching strategies for students with autism. They can also be effective in early intervention programs.
A social story is a story that gets created for a specific child in order to prepare them for something or teach a behavior. For example, if your child struggles to play well with other children, a social story can get created that looks at the expectations within that setting.
These stories can be used within an ABA program. Social stories are the most effective in children with higher language comprehension skills. These stories are also most effective when presented at the right time.
Children with autism often struggle with communicating their needs and wants. This can lead to frustration and aggressive behaviors due to not knowing how to handle those feelings.
For children with autism who are more visual learners, sign language can open the door to communication. Pairing a spoken word with sign language can help your child begin to make necessary connections.
In addition, helping your child be understood can help decrease other problem behaviors. Other forms of augmentative alternative communication or ACC methods also exist that could benefit children with autism.
Writing is an ACC method that can be used later as part of strategies for autism in the classroom. With the increase in technology, ACC methods are becoming more viable than they have been in the past. Children with autism have methods to communicate that were not available in the past.
Occupational therapy can help children with autism learn how to do activities of daily living. These skills are developed through various methods including play and adaptive strategies.
Children with autism can benefit from occupational therapy in a variety of ways. Some of the gains you can see include fine motor skills, large motor skills, visual skills, communication, problem-solving, and more.
Floortime is a type of play therapy for children with autism. This therapy focuses on helping your child with autism build communication skills and emotional connections.
This type of therapy can be used by parents, professionals, or para-professionals in many settings. One of the benefits of floortime is that anyone can go through the training.
Picture Exchange Communication System
A picture exchange communication system or PECS is another early intervention strategy utilized for children with autism. This is another augmentative alternative communication method for children with autism.
For children with autism that are unable to communicate verbally, this can open doors. In this method, your child is taught to give a picture of the item they want in exchange for the item.
For example, if your child has a favorite stuffed animal, they can have a card with that stuffed animal on it. When they hand you that card, you would hand them the stuffed animal. For children struggling to communicate their wants and needs, PECS can open many doors.
Music therapy can help your child with autism improve their skills in many areas including:
- Social skills
- Sensory issues
- Perceptual/Motor skills
Music can be used in therapy as a motivator. This means that it can be used as a natural reinforcement for desired responses. However, music therapy can also help your child with autism in other ways. At Dream Big, we love to use music in our playtime and therapy.
Start Benefiting From Strategies for Autism
There are many strategies for autism that can be used in early intervention to help your child grow and progress. Early intervention is the most effective way to help your child have a successful future.
Are you ready to see your child start benefiting from early intervention strategies? Dream Big is an inclusive, caring, and fun space where your child can learn and grow.
Contact us today and learn more about who we are and what we can do for your child.