February 16, 2017: Researchers at the University of North Carolina recently released findings stating that they were able to predict, with relatively high accuracy, the likelihood of an autism diagnosis in babies who had an older sibling on the autism spectrum. Early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is crucial in providing those impacted individuals with targeted interventions in order to help mitigate the impact of ASD later in their lives.
Early intervention refers to efforts designed to maximize development in babies and toddlers who are impacted by developmental disorders or delays. Giant Steps’ Director of Elementary Services, Becky Kaufman, works with children on the autism spectrum each day and knows the importance of empowering families to begin support programs for their children early on.
“Earlier identification of individuals with autism opens the doors for earlier intervention,” Kaufman said. “We see how significant the impact of ASD can be on families, especially those families who are still growing. The ability to identify ASD early and provide the opportunity to access early intervention can be a game-changer for these families.”
“It is important to note that every child’s lifelong journey with autism is different. This is why it is important to get our children access to the resources they need in order to have the most meaningful impact on their lives,” she noted.
Located in Lisle, IL, Giant Steps serves individuals from over 60 school districts throughout the greater Chicago area, many of which are more heavily impacted by autism.
“Our mission is to provide individuals with autism spectrum disorders, and their families, superior educational and therapeutic services focused on improving the quality of daily life from early childhood through adulthood,” said Giant Steps Executive Director Dr. Sylvia Smith. “Through research-based practices, we strive to impart academic, social and life skills to our students and participants in order to give them the best possible chance to lead happy and purposeful lives”