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Authors: Hafiz, Promugdha
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, children, early intervention therapy, age factor, Bangladesh
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Publisher: Chattogram Veterinary & Animal |Sciences University
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are becoming a global problem, as they are frequently reported among non-communicable diseases. The main problems of this disease are a lack of socialization, communication skills, and behavioral abnormalities. Starting the therapy at an early age can lead to better results within a short time. Determining the correct age for children for giving therapy would represent a valuable step to enhancing better functioning for children with autism. In this work, we have compared the effectiveness of early intervention therapy within different age groups of children and shown the benefit of early intervention therapy. Screening of ASD was carried out by psychological tools like M-Chat, how and why communication assessment checklist, Bayley scales of infant and toddler development, and neurodevelopmental assessment form. This observational study was conducted between January 2020 to December 2020 in Chittagong Medical College Hospital. The diagnosis was confirmed by a team consisting of child health physicians, child psychologists, and developmental therapists with the help of M-Chat, neurodevelopmental assessment, how and why communication checklist, and Bayley’s scales of infant and toddler development. The intervention was provided on a 1:1 basis which was adapted from various evidence-based practices including the ‘More Than Words. Interventions were given for six subsequent sessions in the two months interval. Levels of communication were measured after intervention and compared with two age groups of children. In this study, a total of 150 samples were taken from two different age groups of 1 year 6 months to below 3 years (75 samples) and above 3 to 5 years (75 samples). Among the young age group of children, 90.70 % were male and only 9.30 % were female. On the other hand, 84 % of children in the elderly age group were male and 16 % were female. Our study summarizes the results of improvements in children having autism disorder after completing the early interventional therapy for younger and older age groups. After completing early intervention therapy, the younger age group showed a remarkable improvement where there were no children in their own agenda stage. Moreover, 46.70 % child were in the early communication stage, 41.00 % were in the requester stage and 12.00% were in the partner stage. On the other hand, almost half (49.30 %) of the older age group children were in their own agenda stage. In this age group, only 9.30% of children were in the ix early communicator stage, 37.30 % were in the requester stage and 4.00 % were in the partner stage. The age of children starting the early interventional therapy has a significant effect (P<0.001) on the early improvements of ASD. These results suggested that significant improvements had been observed in the overall level of communication, socialization, and behavior in the young age group of children. Hence, to facilitate the early diagnosis of children with ASD an awareness program should be implemented targeting the parents and speed up the development of children by confirming early interventional therapy
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