What is early intervention, and why is it important?

We're here to answer your questions: amanda.haydock@gmx.com

Early intervention is a targeted approach to teaching and supporting very young children with autism or communication difficulties.

There is no one intervention that is best for all children on the autistic spectrum, but there is agreement amongst professionals that early intervention is important for later outcomes, and that most individuals on the autistic spectrum benefit from a highly structured, visually clear, specialised environment.

The Government Green Paper on Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (2010) states that “through early identification and intervention ... We can reduce the impact that SEN or disability may have in the long-run."

The National Autism Plan for Children (2003) states that those interventions that are most effective for young children on the autism spectrum:

  • Build on a child’s interest
  • Offer a predictable schedule
  • Develop joint attention, communication and social understanding
  • Teach tasks as a series of simple steps
  • Reinforce appropriate behaviours
  • Make use of visual strategies to help understanding
  • Involve parents.

At The Rainbow Project, we use all of the above strategies in addition to controlling the overall level of stimulation and adopting a communication based curriculum.