Study: Autism Therapy Produces Greatest Gains When Started Before Age 2
We had a bit of a delayed start in therapy at age 3 1/2 (because I fell for the "wait and see", "she'll catch up", "she'll grow out of it", etc. approach, by listening to friends and family) but the progress was still dramatic and now LS is 92.7% mainstreamed. It astounds me when I see so many diagnoses coming at ages 6, or 8, or 10.....? I don't understand how the parents didn't know until then or wonder or question. To be fair, it's not always the parents. It can often be doctors. PC drs have been so slow to get up to speed on spectrum news. Many are still only aware of classic autism, and unaware of the spectrum, and PDD-NOS--and that the DSM now categorizes them all equally under the autism spectrum disorder umbrella. This lack of current information can delay a diagnosis for so many who could have experienced greater therapy results had they been diagnosed earlier.
Overall, I don't get the hesitation, other than cost. It's not like prescribing medication with serious side effects. Since when does therapy have serious side effects? It never hurts. At worst, there is no progress. At best, there is.
What really amazes me is the general lack of curiosity I get from doctors, specialists, and educators. The spectrum is so vast and there is so much to be discovered still. Whenever I ask about one of LS's particular behaviors or gifts, in an effort to get to the WHY of it, I only get pacifying comments about how great she's doing. I KNOW she is. But I am CURIOUS and I am not a scientist or specialist. But I have had to be in order to find answers to my questions.