http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/hea ... e20495181/
A new U.S. study has found that infants treated for symptoms of autism spectrum disorder showed no symptoms or signs of developmental delay by they time they reached age 3.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California Davis MIND Institute, reinforces the importance of early detection and intervention, and highlights the role parents can take in their child’s treatment.
In a pilot project using a therapy method, called Infant Start, the parents of seven symptomatic infants, aged 7 months to 15 months, were taught techniques to target their child’s individual language and social needs through their daily routines. Over 12 weekly clinic sessions, parents practised and received coaching on activities, like dressing, changing and playing, to boost the infants’ attention and engagement. For children who showed a lack of age-appropriate speech development, for instance, parents were shown how to use imitation and other strategies to increase their vocalizations and shape specific sounds.
The results, published online in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, were stark.
“Most of the children in the study, six out of seven, caught up in all of their learning skills and their language by the time they were 2 to 3,” Sally Rogers, the lead author of the study, said in a press release. She added: “Most children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] are barely even getting diagnosed by then.”