Dear Dr. Laura,
I would like to direct you to the following link: Intervention in 6-month-olds with Autism Eliminates Symptoms, Developmental Delay
Essentially, the study discovered that early intervention, (as early as 6-months-old when infants began to show behaviors symptomatic of autism), alleviated developmental delays and ameliorated symptoms by the age of 3. What fancy interventions were recommended, one might ask?
- Infant attention to parent faces and voices
- Parent-child interactions that attract infants' attention, bringing smiles and delight to both
- Parent imitation of infant sounds and intentional actions
- Parental use of toys to support, rather than compete with, the child's social attention
Sounds to me like basic parenting... I wonder if putting an infant in day care where there is no one-on-one interaction, little eye contact, and the use of toys to keep children entertained instead of being held and cuddled and loved might be contributing to the rise in autism cases? I wonder if "at-home parents" who use TV, videos, and iPad games to entertain the little ones, or spend time tapping on their smart-phones instead of playing with their kids might be contributing to the rise in autism diagnoses.
While autism is very complex and cannot be attributed to a single factor, I found that study particularly intriguing because of our family history. I have been an at-home mom married to their dad for more than 20 years. Two of my kids were diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when they were about 10. I am certain that all of our positive interactions in their infancy is what prevented their symptoms from devolving into full-blown autism. They are now fully functioning adults, one is in the Air Force, and the other one is a Marine. While we did have help from some wonderful cognitive behavior therapists in their teenage years, I am convinced that being able to focus 100% of my attention and energy on them and on their needs from infancy until adulthood, helped tremendously to alleviate the bulk of their autism symptoms and behaviors. I shudder to think what might have happened if they had gone to day care instead...
Thank you for your continued support of real womanhood, and real mommyhood.