Within about one in every 68 children being diagnosed with autism and more than 3.5 million Americans living with some form of autism, the need for support and care is growing. Some reports list autism as the fastest growing of all developmental disorders in the United States. Parents are often unsure what to do with an autism diagnosis and want resources to help them cope with their child’s condition.
Fives times fewer girls are diagnosed with autism than boys. As many as one in 42 boys develop the disorder. Concerns about vision and hearing are usually reported in the first year after birth, with concerns about fine motor skills, communication and social ability are raised in the first six month. Diagnosis as early as the age of two can be reliable, valid, and stable, according to research.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that has been used to help those with developmental disorders including autism since the 1960s. There are two types of ABA therapy. Traditional ABA therapy involves a therapist spending between 20 and 40 hours per week with the child on a one-on-one basis, while modified ABA therapy allows time for occupational and speech therapy by devoting 10 to 15 hours weekly to one-on-one therapy. The result is often positive behavioral change. The techniques can also be applied in the home and the therapy extended beyond the therapist interactions. Managing the disorder through ABA therapy can help autistic children better cope with their environment and encourage learning.
Most major medical insurers cover ABA therapy and in fact, laws requiring its coverage have been enacted in 32 of the 50 states meaning that for many American parents the benefits of such therapy can be enjoyed without the stress of additional medical costs. Early diagnosis and treatment can cut lifelong costs for autism care by as much as two-thirds.