Many parents are told by health professionals that their child will ‘grow out’ of what research has shown are early signs of autism. Olga Tennison’s Autism Research Centre’s Dr Kristelle Hudry says this ‘wait and see’ approach misses a vital opportunity for maximising a child’s developmental outcomes by starting very early intervention.In this podcast, Dr Hudry discusses various therapeutic models, including therapy delivered one-on-one by a trained therapist to a child and parent-mediated intervention, where the therapist works with and teaches the parent important skills for observing and supporting their child’s communication attempts.
Dr Hudry says the average age of autism diagnosis is four years of age but that’s due to a widespread lack of understanding of early autism signs, social communication differences at this age are often dismissed as being due to shyness or anxiety,
“[Early intervention research] is the cutting-edge of what we want to achieve as developmental scientists. [We don’t want] to wait until a child has a disorder or a disability and then try to do something about it, but actually pick up kids really early on who we think might be [heading] in that direction and do something to steer them away from that negative challenging outcome as much as we can into a positive outcome.”
Listen to this Living with Autism podcast here.
To hear more important information about autism research and related issues, the Living with Autism podcast series is available to download on iTunes and to listen to on Soundcloud.