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New Study Indicates Early Intervention Alters Brain Activity
According to the Autism Speaks website (October 26, 2012), a new study published in the Journal of American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry indicates that the Early Start Denver Model improves brain activity in very young children with ASD. The Early Start Denver Model, or ESDM, is a unique program that combines Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, with more developmental relationship-based approaches using play-based routines. Previous research had indicated that ESDM provided significant gains in cognitive, language, and daily living skills for young children with ASD. However, the current study suggests that ESDM actually alters brain activity and developmental trajectory, and improves outcomes for social communication. Of the 48 children involved in the study, 73% of those with ASD and 71% of typically developing children exposed to the ESDM demonstrated increased brain activity as compared to only 36% of children exposed only to community intervention programs.
Dr. Geraldine Dawson, a co-creator of the Early Start Denver Model, was quoted as saying, “For the first time, parents and practitioners have evidence that early intervention can result in an improved course of both brain and behavioral development in young children. It is crucial that all children with autism have access to early intervention which can promote the most positive long-term outcomes.” With such advances in research, it is becoming quite clear just how crucial early intervention is for children with ASD.
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To find out more about early intervention in VA, please contact the Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia.