Autism Awareness Month

Posted by on April - 2 - 2015

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder.  One in 68 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  While ASD affects boys at a greater rate than girls, it occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

How can we help our kids on the spectrum reach their full potential?  The short answer is intervention.

  1. Early Intervention: Children, on average, are identified as being on the spectrum at age four.  The CDC reports that children as young as two years old can be reliably identified.  Some studies have even pushed back that age to 12 to 18 months.  Delaying diagnosis and intervention could mean giving up significant gains.  The “Wait and See” approach is not appropriate.  Here are a few early interventions that studies have shown to be successful.
  2. Interventions for Older Children: As the brain develops, intervention is more complex.  My 10 year old on the spectrum is currently benefiting from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and a Social Skills group.  CBT focuses on giving children the skills to self-regulate emotional response, control outbursts and other challenging behaviors.  A social skills group teaches children on the spectrum how to effectively communicate with peers in a group setting guided by a therapist.  Autism Speaks has a good review article on treatments for older children, including CBT and Social Skills groups: https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/asperger-syndrome-and-high-functioning-autism-tool-kit/interventions-and-t

The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff LDA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all children who learn differently in our community.  Please join us at our monthly meeting as we support each other, our teachers and our schools.

References:

United Nations, World Autism Awareness Day: http://www.un.org/en/events/autismday/

CDC, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html

American Psychological Association, Catching Autism Early: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/10/autism.aspx

CDC, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Treatment: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/treatment.html#ei