Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Autism Therapy for Infants and Toddlers Under Two

The NY Times online article, At the Age of Peekabook, in Therapy to Fight Autism,

"The treatment is based on a daily therapy, the Early Start Denver Model, that is based on games and pretend play. It has been shown in randomized trials to significantly improve I.Q., language and social skills in toddlers..."

The therapy's focus on people-intensive interaction and play seems a good bet, and it won't do any harm if your child has been misdiagnosed or you are not sure if he or she has autism (families with an older child who has autism may be extra vigilant in taking precautions).

"Even normally developing babies cannot speak or gesture, let alone pretend. Instead, Ms. Rogers has parents focus on babbling and simple social interactions that occur in the normal routine of feeding, dressing, bathing and changing the baby.

“Patty-cake and peekaboo or tickle games, those are people games,” she explained to Carmen and Saul Aguilar during their first session with their son Emilio at 7 months old. Ms. Rogers talked about the next 12 weeks and how they would focus on getting Emilio to exchange smiles, to respond to his name, to babble with them, starting with single syllables (“ma”) and moving on to doubles (“gaga”) and more complex combinations (“maga”)."