According to the National Autism Network, “the universal feeling shared by physicians is the earlier, the better” when it comes to diagnosing and treating children with autism.

Findings across the board state that early intervention is the best possible course of action for “remediating the symptoms of autism” according to the National Autism Network.

Early intervention is so crucial because it provides specialized, intensive intervention when a child’s brain and cognitive function are in important developmental stages.

According to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, “ Children who receive autism-appropriate education and support at key developmental stages are more likely to gain essential social skills and react better in society.”

One study conducted in 2009 by the University of Washington found enormous success for young children with autism who received early intervention. The study involved therapy for 48 children with autism from the ages of 18- to 30-months old. The children were divided into groups: one group received 20 hours per week of an intervention that combined ABA therapy and “play-based routines that focused on building a relationship with the child” and another group that received therapy from community-based programs.

By the end of the study, the researchers found an 18-point increase in the IQs of the children who received the intervention (the comparison group had a 4-point increase), along with an 18-point improvement in receptive language skills (compared to a 10-point improvement in the comparison group). Seven of the children in the intervention group showed significant enough improvement that their diagnoses were changed from autism to pervasive developmental disorder (only one child in the comparison group had an improved diagnosis).

The biggest key to early intervention is being proactive if you suspect your child may have autism. Click here to read about the signs and symptoms of autism.

Interested in learning more about the importance of early intervention? Check out the links below.

“Early intervention for toddlers with autism highly effective, study finds” – Science Daily

“The Importance of Early Intervention” – Autism Science Foundation

“Early Intervention Makes a Huge Difference for Autistic Children” – Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation

“High-Quality Early Intervention for Autism More Than Pays for Itself” – Autism Speaks

“Early Intervention Program Alters Brain Activity in Children with Autism” – Autism Speaks