How Important Is It To Have Family Members Involved In Early Intervention, And How Should That Be Achieved?

Question: What are the goals and objectives of early autism intervention?

Answer: In terms of establishing goals for children with autism spectrum disorders, it is very important to understand that there is no cure for the disorder. Rather, when we're imposing intervention, the intervention is often introduced to work on specific and core skills of the disorder such as socialization, communication, repetitive interests and activities. In addition, the intervention may address very specific skills such as reducing inappropriate behaviors or improving skills that are necessary for the child to be successful in their environment.

We also want to focus on skills that oftentimes come quite naturally for other children who are neurotypical. We might be focusing on such things as functional communication training, children may need to be explicitly taught how to communicate their need for attention or their need to get out of a situation or their need for help.

We may be also teaching such things as leisure skills or play skills -- helping the child to know how to interact with things in their environment and also engaged with the peers around them, engaging in such things as taking turns and sharing the materials.

Many of these things come naturally for children who are neurotypical, but these items need to be products of intervention for children with an autism spectrum disorder.