External resources from:
- Center for Parent Information & Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- American Academy of Pediatrics
Early identification and intervention can make a significant difference in an Autistic child’s development. In the United States, there are resources available to help with early intervention and preschool education.
Overview of Early Intervention from the Center for Parent Information & Resources
The Center for Parent Information & Resources provides an overview of early intervention services for children with disabilities. Early intervention programs can include speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, among others. These services are designed to help Autistic children develop the skills they need to communicate, socialize, and learn.
Learn the Signs. Act Early.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on the early signs of autism. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to learn about these signs and to act early if they suspect their child may be Autistic. The CDC also provides a tool to help parents track their child’s development and to identify any areas of concern.
If Autism is Suspected, What’s Next?
If autism is suspected, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents seek an evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional. The evaluation may include developmental screenings, hearing tests, and other assessments to help determine if a child is Autistic. If a diagnosis is made, parents can work with their healthcare provider to develop a plan that includes early intervention services.
Each state and territory in the United States has an early intervention program that provides services to children with disabilities under the age of 3. The CDC provides a directory of these programs on their website. Parents can contact their state or territory’s program to learn more about the services that are available in their area.
Developing Your Child’s IEP
The Center for Parent Information & Resources provides resources to help parents develop their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) for children age 3 and older. An IEP is a legal document that outlines the educational goals and services that a child with a disability will receive in school. Parents can work with their child’s school to develop an IEP that meets their child’s unique needs.
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