by Invo Behavior & Therapy services
AutismHomeSupport.com | 844-AHSS-ABA
What is autism?
Autism is a neurological condition that usually appears in early childhood. “Autism” and “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD) are used interchangeably and include symptoms such as difficulty with communication and social relationships.
Every person with ASD has a unique combination of challenges and strengths. There’s a common saying: “If you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism.”
How common is autism?
In 2018, a Centers for Disease Control study estimated that 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with autism. This is a 15% increase from the 2016 report.
Autism occurs more often in boys than girls, with 1 in 37 boys being diagnosed with ASD and 1 in 151 girls.
How can I tell if my child might have autism?
A 6-month old with autism might not make eye contact or smile at people. By one, a child may not respond to her name, babble or point to communicate. Many children with autism don’t speak by 16 months or use meaningful phrases by age 2.
When can autism be diagnosed?
Children can be diagnosed as early as age 2, although many parents notice signs earlier. Studies show that at least one-third of parents noticed a problem before their child’s first birthday, and up to 80% saw issues by the child’s second birthday.
If you’re concerned, make sure your pediatrician conducts an M-CHAT evaluation at 18 and 24 months to determine whether your child is at risk. Parents can also download the M-CHAT online (https://www.m-chat.org/) and do the test themselves.
If results indicate that your child is high-risk or you’re worried, have your child evaluated by a developmental pediatrician or a neurologist.
Why is an early diagnosis important?
Numerous studies show that children who are diagnosed early and receive intensive therapy have better outcomes.
The earlier the diagnosis, the more time there is for therapy to help a child learn age-appropriate skills, improve communication and reduce challenging behaviors before starting school.
What services are available for children with autism in Jacksonville?
Jacksonville offers many options for people with autism. Young children often start with a program called “early intervention” that provides a few hours of speech, occupational, developmental and/or physical therapy each week.
However, research shows that up to 40 hours a week of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the most effective therapy to help children and adolescents with ASD learn age-appropriate behaviors, and improve communication and social skills. A scientifically proven therapy, ABA is the only treatment for ASD that’s been endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Many area organizations offer intensive ABA therapy. For example, Invo Behavior & Therapy services provides in-home ABA throughout Jacksonville for ages 2 to 23. We also offer center-based therapy in Belfort Oaks location and will be opening another center in Lake Gray soon.