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Early intervention education programs for children ages 3 thru 6 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder is crucial.  Evidence has shown that the earlier the intervention the better the outcomes.  Effective education programs must address all of the child’s developmental areas:  self-help, communication, physical, academic, and communication.  Addressing each of the areas of development at an early age will help in developing a child’s independent functioning.

Effective early childhood programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder need to include:

  • A strong early childhood curriculum that addresses attending skills, communication, play and social skills.
  • Structured teaching with visual schedules, work systems, and visual organization to support the child’s independence.
  • A supportive teaching environment that incorporates visual supports, trained support staff and is void of unnecessary auditory and visual distractions.
  • Opportunities for skill generalization.
  • Functional behavior assessments as needed.
  • Behavior plans that are based on functional behavior assessments.
  • Family involvement, highly trained and effective teams, collaboration and parent education.
  • Transition planning for moving the child from early childhood programming to elementary school.
  • Regular and deliberate exposure to typically developing children.

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