Infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorder: Early identification and early intervention
by Boyd, B.A., Odom, S.L., Humphreys, B.P., Sam, A.M.
There has been a drastic increase in the prevalence of ASD and its detection within the first 3 years of life which poses a significant impact on early intervention. The article summarizes current scientific and policy information on early identification and early intervention for infants and toddlers with ASD and their families. A brief overview of ASD is presented discussing the prevalence and etiology of the disorder. Following the overview of ASD the authors discuss the early warning signs of ASD and early surveillance and screening tools that can be used by the medical and educational professions to identify ASD. Surveillance and screening tools are designed to catch signs of ASD as early as possible so that intervention may be pursued. Interventions for young children such as infants and toddlers have a sparse evidence base therefore the authors discuss an array of focused interventions and comprehensive treatment models. The challenges that have been inherent with the structure and function of service delivery systems for infants and toddlers with ASD are also discussed.