Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

April 28, 2016

Autism: early diagnosis and intervention

    April is Autism Awareness Month! 

Allison Parker MA CCC-SLP is a speech therapist at Child and Family Development and works at our Midtown office.  She works with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and recently reviewed the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) article about ASD diagnosis criteria, the early signs and the importance of early intervention. 

The article focuses on identifying at-risk infants and asserts that recent reports show that characteristics may be seen in the 1st and 2nd year of life, especially:

  • reduced eye contact
  • reduced babbling
  • feeding issues 

The article promotes awareness and intervention, especially beneficial for parents to become better advocates for their kids over their lifespan and to be more aware of available community services.  

Allison shared that if there is one thing she could tell parents, it is that early intervention is key to improving their child’s outcome. This article discusses the benefits of an early diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children and how important it is to be aware of the signs as early as 1-2 years of age. Many times, SLPs are the ones who make a referral for an autism assessment since language delays are such a huge part of the diagnosis. Making parents aware of these “red flags” helps them better advocate for their children and receive early intervention, possibly improving outcomes. 

The ASHA Leader has the full article online in April, as part of Autism Awareness Month.

C&FD speech therapists offer free 15-minute phone consultations to parents who have questions about their child’s communication skills.