Strategies to help children overcome autism are critical at an early age. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently found a collection of simple strategies that can aid in the intervention of children from a very early age- as early as one year old. The strategies fall under a larger intervention called ART (“Adapted Response Teaching”) that parents can easily be trained with and do from home every day.
The ART intervention strategy found significant improvements among one-year-olds at risk for autism that were included in the study of 18 families. At this age, although autism symptoms do not typically show yet, at-risk babies showed a significant improvement in social interactions. Parents who played “imitate your baby”, which involved a series of imitations that engage the children in social interactions, experienced improvements in their babies’ behavior and capabilities.
The study concluded that at-risk children can benefit tremendously from intervention before they are even at an age where they display signs on autism, leading to further evidence that the earliest intervention possible is necessary in helping children manage and overcome autism.