Saturday, February 27, 2010
Clinic Notes: Autism's Earliest Symptoms and ABA
At the Childrens Treatment Center (www.Childrenstreatmentcenter4autism.com) I see 40+ kids a week. Most of these children have autism and are helped by ABA. Naturally, with autism being epidemic, I have been looking for signs of autism in my grandchildren from birth on. Studies have found that if intensive ABA is started early enough the symptoms and the diagnosis of autism may disappear and I want to be ready. Normally developing infants show some signs of autism at times--staring at objects--not responsive to stimuli--avoiding eye contact--etc. The question is when in the infant's development are these signs clinically significant. A recent study from the MIND Institute finds that symptoms like eye contact--smiling and communicative babbling are not present at 6 months, but develop gradually and only become observable during the latter part of the first year of life in infants. Furthermore, these behaviors appear they decline slowly, not suddenly in infants with autism. So watch your infant from 6 to 12 months and be prepared to start ABA if you notice these declines.