Friday, December 11, 2009
Beautifull Lovely Bird
Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that can cause significant communication, social and behavioral challenges. For years autism was rare, occurring in just 5 children per 10,000 live births. But since the early 1990s, that rate has increased exponentially and today it is reported to affect an average of 1 in 100 children in the United States. There was also a time when autism was thought to be a fate that simply had to be accepted, but we now know that many of the debilitating symptoms of autism can be prevented or reduced with early diagnosis and intervention. A notable treatment approach for older preschool-aged children is applied behavior analysis (ABA), a structured method used in many schools and treatment clinics to teach new skills while encouraging positive behaviors and discouraging negative ones. And a new study has found that a novel intervention called the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is effective for improving IQ, language ability, and social interaction for very young children with autism—some as young as 18 months.
ESDM was developed by Dr. Geraldine Dawson, a University of North Carolina psychologist and chief science officer of the patient-advocacy group Autism Speaks, and Sally Rogers, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a researcher at the UC Davis MIND Institute in California. The intervention, tailored for toddlers as young as 12 months old, is delivered by trained therapists and parents, who receive instruction and training, in the child’s natural environment. “It’s a very pleasing kind of therapy, kids are happy,” Rogers explains. “It is play, and it can happen everywhere.” Dawson adds that this type of intervention builds on a fun, positive relationship with the therapist