Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Some children with an autism spectrum disorder respond better to early intervention therapies than others. Factors that seem to make a difference are:
· Age at diagnosis. One study showed that 70 percent of children given a diagnosis before 30 months improved more by age 9 than children who received a diagnosis after 30 months.
· Rapid progress once intervention begins.
· Language acquisition before age 5.
· A nonverbal IQ score above 70. Nonverbal intelligence includes the ability to reason, understand how things work and solve puzzles.
· Speaking spontaneous sentences by age 4 or 5.
· Understanding simple directions.
· Echolalia (echo-LAY-lee-ah), the repetition of words heard, either immediately or days, weeks, months or even years later.
· Effective use of gestures and a capacity for "joint attention," the ability to share enjoyment of an object using a shift in back-and-forth eye gaze from the object to another person. This ability usually develops about 9 months of age.
-- Jayne Lytel