Is my child developing typically?
Parents may start to notice differences in their baby's development and may begin to have concerns or notice signs of ASD as early as infancy, although other symptoms may not be as noticeable until toddlerhood. Resources are available online to help you recognize and identify possible signs or symptoms of ASD sooner, as early as 9 to 16-months-old. Autism Navigator and Baby Navigator are wonderful resources, developed through the Florida State University (FSU) Autism Institute. They provide video examples, free webinars and additional resources for parents concerned about their baby or toddler's development, for parents of children with ASD ages 1 to 8, and for professionals seeking to learn more about early detection of ASD or. To visit Autism Navigator click here. To visit Baby Navigator click here.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also provides information and checklists to help you better understand if your child is on track or if they may be delayed in their skills. To visit the CDC's page regarding developmental milestones, click here.
If you have concerns about your child's development, discuss these with your Pediatrician. They can help you determine next steps, such as conducting hearing or vision screenings, providing a referral for Early Intervention services and/or providing a referral for an ASD evaluation.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism Speaks provides helpful information regarding ASD as well as the evaluation process and next steps if your child is diagnosed with ASD. To visit their website, click here.
The CDC provides a helpful overview of ASD. To visit their website, click here.
The New Mexico Autism Society also provides helpful information regarding ASD as well as resources in our state. To visit their website, click here.
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is considered the gold standard in treatment for children diagnosed with ASD. An ABA treatment program may consist of up to 40 hours per week of service, depending on your child's age, needs and insurance coverage. Most often, ABA services are delivered one on one and treatment goals are tailored to your child's individual needs. Young children with ASD can make substantial progress in response to ABA. FirstSteps Autism Evaluations provides the diagnostic evaluation necessary in order to qualify for ABA services; however, FirstSteps does not provide ABA services. Autism Speaks provides a helpful summary of ABA. To visit their page regarding ABA, click here.
What can I do while I wait for an ASD Evaluation?
The Family Infant and Toddler (FIT) program through The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) provides Early Intervention (EI) services for children ages 0 to 3-years-old who have or are at-risk for developmental delays. If you are concerned that your child may be exhibiting delays, contact a local EI agency to request evaluation and to learn if your child would qualify for services. The NMDOH has provided a comprehensive list of FIT/EI providers by the area you live in. To view their list, click here.
Child Find developmental screenings are available for children ages 3 to 4-years-old through local school districts. A Child Find screening can help determine if your child may need further school-based testing and would qualify for special education services within a developmental preschool program. The UNM Center for Development and Disability (CDD) has compiled a list of Child Find clinics by school district. To view their list click here.
Your child may be eligible for to start receiving ABA services with a diagnosis from their Pediatrician, while you wait for their Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation (CDE). You may wish to reach out to ABA agencies to learn more about possible options. The New Mexico Autism Society has a listing of ABA agencies in our state. To be directed to their resources page, click here (scroll down to "ABA").
In addition, your child may benefit from Speech and Language (SLP), Occupational Therapy (OT) or Physical Therapy (PT). New Mexico Autism Society has compiled a helpful list of resources in our state, including agencies that provide SLP, OT and PT services. To be directed to their resources page, click here.
What can I do to help my child at home?
Parents are very important partners in their child's treatment. Most ABA programs provide a parent training component. The UNM CDD Autism Programs also offers a Parent Home Training (PHT) program for parents of children under the age of 6. To be directed to their PHT page, click here.
The book: An Early Start for Your Child with Autism, by Dr.’s Rogers, Dawson, and Vismara can be a helpful resource for families (conduct an internet search for buying options). This book describes interventions that caregivers can apply in the home, based on the Early Start Denver Model for children with ASD. Online training and webinars, based on the Early Start Denver Model, are available in collaboration with UC Davis. To be directed to their website and listing of webinars, click here.