Interest in Toys Predicts Effectiveness of Autism/Aspergers Treatment in Toddlers

From ScienceDaily.com – Identifying Toddlers At Risk For Autism There is an autism treatment – called Hanen’s More Than Words  for kids younger than 2 years of age  who show early signs of an autism spectrum disorder. Basically, if it’s caught early on and treated then the symptoms of Autism can be lessened.

Autistic Toddler: In The News

The idea is for the parent to work with the youngster during playtime. During a time when focus is greatest, supposedly. “One out of every 110 children has autism spectrum disorders” according to Sciencedaily.com.    Some kids develop autistic disorder while others have Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.

Says Karen Pierce, PhD, an assistant professor in the UCSD Department of Neurosciences and assistant director of the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence, “In testing 110 toddlers ages 14 to 42 months, we found that all of the toddlers who spent more than 69 percent of their time fixing their gaze on geometric images could be accurately classified as having an

autism spectrum disorder

or ASD.”

When Do Parents Detect Something?

Many parents notice a difference in their infant or toddler at about 18 months.  Typically, the autistic toddler uses fewer gestures and does not emotionally connect/communicate as readily.

New Study Provides Motivation For Parents to Catch Aspergers/Autism Early

There was a study conducted with participants younger than age 2 — 62 toddlers to be exact.  51 boys and 11 girls younger than  2 — who met certain criteria — participated in a baseline social and communication skills  pretest in which parents and their kids played with toys and read books together while a researcher looked on, and recorded results. Next, the toddlers were assigned either to Hanen’s More Than Words program, or to the control group.  The program is supposed to “stimulate” mature communication, language development skills, & social skills.

Anyway, the parents in the Hanen’s More Than Words program were shown how to encourage their kids – through eye contact and modeling simple sentences from the perspective of the child.  So, if the child pointed to something, the parent would not cave and simply hand it over. No, the parent would get down at eye-level with the child and say, “I want a cookie.”  (in other words, demonstrating the proper way of doing it).

A paper based on the aforementioned study appeared in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, March issue; “This report adds to our emerging knowledge about which interventions work for which kids. It will help match children with the right intervention and not waste time enrolling them in treatments that are not well-suited for them,” said author Wendy Stone, director of the UW Autism Center.

The norm is that most toddlers, by the age of 2, have latched onto how to interact with others. This is according to Miss Stone.

*Read more about Potential Autism/Aspergers Treatment

Aspergers Treatment Options

Aspergers Kids: Aspergers Treatment

 

A new study indicates that maternal sensitivity may  help language development in toddlers with an autism spectrum disorder.  You may want to read the full article.

Visual Patterns:  Toddlers at Risk Often Show Preference for Geometric Shapes An interesting preference was found in toddlers at risk for autism as early as 14 months of age, according to sciencedaily.com.  Using eye-tracking technology scientific researchers found that the very young toddlers were far more interested in geometric shapes than images depicting social behavior, or social interaction in other words.

Geometric Responders:  Results of UCSD Study The results of the study suggest that a preference for geometric patterns early in life may be a signature behavior in at-risk toddlers; so parents be aware.  Still, not all the toddlers in the study demonstrated this preference – just 40% did, while 60% showed interest in the social pictures.

Help at Hand:  Ask an aspergers doctor a question here (97% Approval Rate)

(No commissions are made from the above.) ********************************************************************************************************************** VIDEO: Computers for The Autistic Toddler:  Working with The iPad – Features Soundrop app & My Splatter app for kids

References: “Visual Patterns”  article at Sciencedaily.com “Early Detection/Interest in Toys” article from Sciencedaily.com

Further Reading:  Infants with Autistic Siblings Show Certain Tendencies  PLUS  Girls and Aspergers: Resource List

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