Introduction and Summary of Literature Review
Before we go into early intervention for autism spectrum disorder, it will be of great importance to define what Autism spectrum Disorder abbreviated as ASD. Well, ASD is a type of development as well as neurological disorder. Generally speaking, this type of disorder affects the way in which a person acts or interact with other people, learns and even method of communication. Too often, Autism spectrum Disorder expresses itself in early childhood, and it lasts throughout an individual's life, especially if left unattended (Bambara, Cole, Kunsch, Tsai, & Ayad, 2016). However, having ASD is not the end as there exist strategies of helping those suffering with it come up with life aspects. For instance, by relating with other children, an individual can learn how to speak, and in the process, the effects of Autism spectrum Disorder decreases. Also, ASD includes Asperger syndrome together with persuasive development disorders (Wong et al., 2015).
As well, this disorder is considered spectrum because those suffering from it portray the range of signs and symptoms. These signs include challenges in conversing, inability to see someone straight in the eyes when talking and many more. On the other side, people who have ASD are characterized by repetitive behaviors as well as restricted interests. More often, they take time to put things in the right order while others keep on repeating the same sentence again and again (Zwaigenbaum et al., 2015). Currently, healthcare settings provide check-ups for a child's development. If it happens that the child is diagnosed with the disorder, the specialists recommend a comprehensive evaluation. Moreover, some medication has been proposed to help in reducing related symptoms such as depression, trouble focusing as well as seizures.
Causes or even cure of ASD is not yet known, and this leaves a wide gap in research. However, there are proposed interventions that help in reducing the effects of Autism Spectrum Disorder. They include early intervention and inclusion of children who have ASD into the same learning environments as his/her peers with no ASD. Some research shows that including children into the same school's system help them develop their IQ, communications, language as well as improve their relationship with others (Christensen et al., 2016). On the other hand, some people claim that inclusion might worsen the situation because children with ASD are bullied by children school, perceived retarded in mind or even feel isolated among other children. This paper focuses on early intervention for Autism Spectrum disorder. Well, Early Intervention emphasizes that the early the disorder is recognized, the better. This is to imply that early recognition of the disorder with appropriate measures helps in reducing the impact of ASD throughout the child's life(Buescher, Cidav, Knapp, & Mandell, 2014).
In modern society, there exists no standard treatment for ASD. Instead, there are several ways of improving the child's ability to grow as well as learn new skills. Early intervention emphasizes that learning these skills early enough results in betters outcomes. They include communication therapies, skill training, and behavioral therapies together some particular medicines (Estes et al., 2015). All these aspects are used to control and manage symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Generally speaking, early intervention taking the appropriate measures relative to ASD. Not only does this help in managing and reducing symptoms but also prevents worsening of the child's condition. Most noteworthy, it is of great importance to note that early intervention is made up of therapies and services majorly for helping children with autism cope up with life in a positive way.
Early intervention can be behavioral intervention or development intervention, or a combination of the two. Correspondingly, diagnosing the child early enough give child's family a golden chance to implement the intervention programs. However, the human mind is believed to be plastic-like, and for this reason, intervention can be useful in every stage of life (Bradshaw, Steiner, Gengoux, & Koegel, 2015). Moreover, parents, caregivers, as well as guardians, always find a hard time when choosing an early intervention program for their children. More often, the parents are expected to design their own their implementation program. After that, the healthcare specialists will help the implement the proposed program (Koegel, Koegel, Ashbaugh, & Bradshaw, 2014). Irrespective of the program a person chooses, the intensity of the practice plays a significant role.
According to the Australian Government's 2012 Guidelines for Good Practice, 15 to 25 hours every week of autism early intervention practices have demonstrated a high level of effectiveness (Schreibman et al., 2015). Those who have practiced this program for about two years gave positive feedback. However, this was more witnessed among children who are below age than older children. In contrary to this, the majority of children do not achieve this, and this is one of the major challenges that face autism invention especially early intervention. The proposed schedule is what experts considered as the best way of (Salomone et al., 2016) achieving excellent intervention outcomes. People are different, and for this reason, when choosing an intervention program, it is of great significance to consider some factors. For instance, deliberate is the proposed program gives good results and more importantly if the program will be the best for the child and entire family. Consider the costs and schedule of the intervention to ensure it accommodates other family aspects such income as well as workplace times (Kucharczyk et al., 2015).
Most noteworthy, early intervention is comprised of four principles including family-centered, naturalistic, child-directed as well as systematic and functional aspects. When it comes to a family-centered aspect, factors such as culture is considered and this is the main reason why early intervention includes parents are part of therapy. On the other hand, naturalistic principles are those that occur naturally in every environment while child-directed emphasize on child leads as well as intrinsic motivation. Last but not least, systematic and functional aspects follow behavioral together with developmental trajectory (Volkmar et al., 2014).
Early intervention encompasses the most appropriate developmental curriculum. Precisely, it starts with the child's developmental level. That is to say; the child is introduced to the intervention progressively as per the evidence-based protocols from the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (Ratcliffe, Wong, Dossetor, & Hayes, 2015). Most noteworthy, early intervention includes timelines in its framework. As a result, it would be easy for people to trace the effectiveness of the program. As well, this will help to identify when the adopted schedule under early intervention works best with concerned children is. In every aspect of life, it is quite impossible to attain success without, so does the principle applies for early intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders (Shire et al., 2015). Remarkably, timeline defines when the most appropriate time to train the child is. As mentioned above, early intervention can be behavioral, developmental or a combination of the two aspects. Subsequently, early intensive behavioral intervention offers multiple hours a day in 5 days a week program. This program includes breaks for naps, means as well as play (Shire et al., 2015).
Early intensive behavioral intervention has demonstrated excellent results especially in helping the child develop initial skill-level in areas such as readiness to schooling, playing, gaining essential life skills, sorting items, behavioral aspects, observations, academic concepts, matching, gaining both verbal and non-verbal cues and many others (Zwaigenbaum et al., 2015). On the same note, various skills are introduced systematically in natural settings especially at home as well as the preschool-type environment. This means that the child is introduced to skills one by one in a friendly climate especially that he/she is familiar with. As well, this intervention emphasizes that a child is only introduced to one skill after showing some response to the previous skills. If it happens that the child takes too long to respond, repeated trials are encouraged at that time. If the same problem persists, it will be of great importance to introduce another skill and try those skills that the child did not adopt after sometimes (Whalon, Conroy, Martinez, & Werch, 2015).
Correspondingly, the method involves the use of praises and other applicable praises. On the other hand, a gentle corrective mechanism is applied in this intervention when a child makes some few errors or mistakes. The intervention also claims that a well-trained behavior analyst should staff the program. For this reason, parents and guardians should be equipped with essential skills same as those of well-trained behavior analyst (Volkmar et al., 2014). This is because it is quite impossible for every family with Children with Autism to employ well-trained behavior analyst. They can only be found in schools, yet most children with ASD come home every after school.
Statement of Significance
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurobehavioral disorder, and it requires a sophisticated approach especially in childhood. Cause as well as treatment of autism is yet to be known and this leaves a wide gap in the field. Subsequently, researchers have more work to do in respect with Autism spectrum disorder. Most noteworthy, already done research has yielded positive results giving hope not only to the medical professionals but also the entire community (Bambara, Cole, Kunsch, Tsai, & Ayad, 2016). With early intervention, most parents have recorded that their children have significantly improved despite the few challenges that the intervention is facing in its implementation.
On the other hand, children are naturally complex and differ from one other. For this reason, there is a need to develop a range of programs within the intervention to suit a range of children suffering from ASDs. As well, more research is needed to clarify the effectiveness of critical elements within the intervention (Kucharczyk et al., 2015).
There are several teaching strategies as well as intervention for children autism that has been proposed. However, implementation of these programs especially in school settings has been faced with lots of challenges. Some of the barriers to ASD intervention include the incomplete development of the intervention, frequent changes, and inadequate evidence of intervention effectiveness as well as poor fitting. For this reason, there is a need for any intervention to include comprehensive manuals especially on how to implement the intervention. This includes essential components to ensure the effectiveness of the intervention (Christensen et al., 2016). On the other hand, it must include studies that try to examine long-term, practical results. Subsequently, the manual ought to include innovation research that allows the researchers to propose new ways of making the intervention more effective. Based on the above comments, early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum has proved to yield some promising results so far.
Bambara, L. M., Cole, C. L., Kunsch, C., Tsai, S. C., &Ayad, E. (2016). A peer-mediated intervention to improve the conversational skills of high school students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 27, 29-43.
Bradshaw, J., Steiner, A. M., Gengoux, G., &Koegel, L. K. (2015)....
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