Why Parents Play a Critical Role in Early Autism Intervention

Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families

A recent study conducted by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry surveyed more than 300 families about their children’s development. The study revealed that a majority of surveyed parents reported concerns regarding their child’s behavior before their child was one year old, much earlier than clinicians are able to make the same observations. Those concerns noted by parents predicted a future autism diagnosis.

Knowing the signs of autism is important. If you know the signs, you will be able to identify them in your child’s behavior. Some parents are able to note problems with their child’s sensory and motor skills as young as 6 months of age, and concerns with their child’s language and social skills at 12 to 15 months of age. While every child’s development is unique, Autism Speaks notes some early potential signs of autism, including:

  • Your child is not babbling by 12 months of age.
  • Your child is not saying any words by 16 months of age.
  • Your child is not smiling or making facial expressions by 9 months of age.
  • Your child loses their speech skills, including babbling, at any age.

Parents can see differences in their child’s behavior much earlier than others. As a parent, you are most attuned to your children’s behavior and development. Your observations are critical. It is natural to be worried about your child, but hesitant to ask for help. However, if you feel your child’s development is not appropriate for his or her age, schedule an assessment sooner rather than later.

Take concerns seriously rather than adopting a “wait and see” approach. Waiting to see if your child’s behavior develops, or if they will grow out of certain behaviors, could sacrifice time that could have been devoted to early autism intervention. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to help your child. Early intervention to address developmental difficulties is absolutely key..

Do you have concerns about whether your child is on the autism spectrum? Call the team at Peak Potential Therapy. We offer caring guidance and support for your child.