Early intervention, also known as “Birth to Three”, has been proven effective in improving the communication and social interactions of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). But what happens when a child begins aging out of early intervention? Where are parents to look for further help in facing the challenges of autism spectrum disorder?
Autism affects at least 1 in 45 children. Thus, it’s vital to diagnose and treat ASD as soon as possible. “Early intervention” has two different meanings within the autism community. More broadly, early intervention simply means any type of intervention or therapy that begins as early as possible in a child’s life. In addition, Early Intervention is a state-funded program that focuses on children from birth to three years old.
This article is focused on providing more details about the state-funded early intervention autism program. Aging out of early intervention occurs when a child turns three years old and is therefore no longer eligible for Early Intervention services.
What is Early Intervention (Birth to Three)?
As mentioned above, Early Intervention is a state-funded program that provides services and support for children up to three years of age. It is a means to prevent developmental delays as well as prepare families for issues that can be long-lasting. In early intervention, children and families have access to a variety of therapies, including occupational therapy, speech-language pathology therapy, applied behavior analysis therapy, and physical therapy. Still, other forms of therapy can include:
- Family training
- Hearing impairment services
- Nutrition services
Also, treatment professionals design services to fit the specific needs of a child and the family. It’s been a technique that’s had a major impact on learning as well as success in developing social skills. Nearly every state offers Early Intervention services for children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Aging Out of Early Intervention
After the age of three, many public and private schools will have programs to aid children with ASD. As children age, parents will have to be conscious of how the individual’s needs change.
While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, early intervention can make symptoms more manageable. However, it is likely that individuals with autism and their families will always face challenges from ASD. Thus, when a child ages out of the Early Intervention program, they will still benefit from services and treatments provided outside of the Early Intervention program. One way to find these services is through the local CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education). Another is reaching out to programs like Ascend Autism.
How Ascend Autism Can Help
Here at Ascend Autism, we focus all our efforts on providing families with the highest level of treatment possible. Our service area that spans across New England and includes early intervention services for children of all ages. Specifically, Ascend Autism offers programs that include:
- Targeted Intervention: This program focuses on ASD-specific characteristics attempting to improve attention, imitation, social engagement, and symbolic and functional play.
- Social Skills Work: This service works on enhancing listening skills and recognizing social cues while learning appropriate responses.
- Parental Services: Often, when a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, parents can benefit from education about roles, responsibilities and specific therapeutic interventions. This program focuses on giving parents the tools they need to not only help their child but care for themselves.
We design all of our services to give individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and their families the tools and resources to succeed and thrive in life. Contact us at (877) 323-8668 to learn more and engage with us.