Autism: Learn the signs and act early [Sponsored]

Sponsored by Behavioral Intervention Group


Although children do develop at different rates, if you are receiving feedback from teachers or have concerns of your own, it is paramount to your child’s well­being to have them screened. Early identification of ASD is crucial, as it means intervention services can begin early and thereby increase potential to make a significant impact on a child’s functioning and future.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is described in the recently released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The diagnostic category no longer includes separate diagnoses for Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. The DSM-5 also includes a related, but distinct, diagnostic category of Social Communication Disorder. Once thought to be rare, autism spectrum disorders are estimated to occur in as many as 1: 59 (one in every 59 children). According to a CDC report, 20% of children identified with ASD had records of showing symptoms of autism.

Why is a timely diagnosis so important?

A young child’s brain develops quickly and there is strong evidence that early intensive treatment re­routes the neurologic pathways. For your child to reach their fullest potential, the earlier you receive the diagnosis, the sooner you can start science-based treatment. Remember, time is of the essence. Do not accept the advice of, “Give it some time,” or “Wait and see what happens before you act.” Parents and professionals alike would encourage you to find a professional as soon as you have concerns.

Behavioral Intervention Group (BIG) is a BCBA-founded and run learning center with a team of professionals providing individualized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). They constantly oversee, monitor and adjust a child’s program as needed. Because of its classroom settings, clients have access to typically developing peers and BCBAs have a low case load of clients who are grouped by age. Since opening in 2007, BIG has provided Baton Rouge with comprehensive ABA services for children on the autism spectrum age 18 months through seven years.

BIG shares some early indicators and an opportunity for assessment. Click here to connect with BIG’s autism and behavioral disorders therapists.

Know the signs.

Research indicates that early diagnosis is critically important. For this reason, parents and caregivers should be aware of some of the earliest signs of autism. Behaviors that may be of concern include:

— regression (loss of) of previously achieved language milestones, including babbling;
— lack of pretend play, or even imitative play, such as babbling on a toy telephone;
— lack of pointing or looking toward where another points;
— lack of response to one’s name, or decreasing response to name; and
— lack of pointing to indicate needs and lack of response to pointing behaviors of others.

Once a suspicion is raised, the diagnosis is dependent on further assessment by an individual or team like BIG, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There is no single test that is diagnostic of autism. In order to have a diagnosis of Autism, an individual must satisfy the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5. Call 225-757-8002 or visit to learn more and schedule an assessment.