Why You Shouldn’t Delay Treatment for ASD?
Children with ASD face many challenges, such as experiencing difficulties in acquiring social skills, expressing their wants and needs clearly, being unable to identify objects - the list can get exhaustive. However, with early intervention, many of the above-mentioned challenges can be addressed.
Before we get into understanding why you shouldn’t delay treatment for autism spectrum disorder, let’s first talk about its diagnosis:
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability which involves impairment and/or delay in social skills, behavior, and language. Being a spectrum disorder, it affects each individual in different ways, meaning no two individuals will have the exact same symptoms. In some children, speech might not be a concern but recognizing an object could be a symptom.
If untreated, children with an autism spectrum disorder may not develop effective social skills, or learn appropriate behaviors. However, with intervention and science-based treatment options, children with ASD can overcome most challenges. As mentioned, with autism being a spectrum disorder, no two individuals will have the exact same symptoms, therefore, therapy and/or treatment should be tailored to each individual while keeping in mind the use of evidence-based/supported practices and treatments.
Diagnosis for ASD?
To start the diagnosis for ASD, a child must be observed by a therapist, teacher, pediatrician, or parent and based on these observations, a screening test can be used to determine if a child has ASD or not. Formal diagnostic testing and evaluation from an experienced psychologist, psychiatrist, and/or neurologist is required to form a formal diagnosis.
A complete evaluation should be performed, including direct testing, personal interaction with the child, observations of the child’s other interactions, and a discussion with the parents to analyze the behavior of the child. Often children with ASD are misdiagnosed with other disorders such as ADHD or speech delay.
Why you should never delay ASD treatment
If the treatment of ASD is delayed, the risk of children reaching a mentally stagnate point is high. Children with ASD who have a delayed diagnosis face challenges in learning. Another disadvantage of not treating your child with ASD sooner is that he/she may grow up with issues ranging from sensory to cognitive to behavioral. Unaddressed, these issues will cause the child to never reach their potential. Impairments related to learning, social skills, etc. may persist if ASD is not treated.
Every child with ASD has unique talents, it is up to the parents to ensure that their child is diagnosed early and receives the right kind of help, so their child can truly tap into their potential. This also helps them with their future employment prospects. It also gives them the opportunity to overcome developmental delays and possibly even eliminate symptoms.
The impact of early intervention can be life changing for your child. With appropriate treatment and therapy, your child will learn to:
Have meaningful interactions
Take care of themselves
Understand others and their point of view
Handle sensory overload
Handle new situations
Be better equipped for employment, and the future in general
At what age did you have your child diagnosed? Did it have an impact on how he/she responded to treatment? Our readers would love to hear about your experience. Please share your thoughts, suggestions, and opinions by commenting below.