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early intervention

Early intervention gives your child the chance to achieve their best.  If you have any concerns about your child's development, do not wait

What does Early Intervention mean?  Early Intervention is providing help to a child as soon as a child starts to show the first signs of autism.  

Concerned Parents

If you are concerned about your child's communication, behaviour, and/or social development, it is important to act on those concerns.  See Where to Start below.

If you have private health insurance check to see if a psychologist is covered.  When booking with a private psychologist for a diagnostic assessment make sure they are familiar with diagnosing young children.  Keep in mind that very young children may not be showing signs of repetitive behaviour as that develops later.

The sooner you have your child assessed, the sooner you will know what to do to help your child (autism or not). 

Having a toddler is so tiring that it's nice when your toddler happily plays on their own and you can have a moment to yourself.   

However, at twelve to eighteen months of age, your toddler should be constantly interrupting you.  They should be bringing toys to show you.  They should be glancing at you when someone comes into the room or if there is a loud noise.  They should be responding to their name and calling out for you with a simple 'mama' or 'dada'.  When you point at something, their eyes should follow where you are pointing and they, too, should point when they want something such as a toy or food.

My personal experience was Alex withdrew so gradually we didn't notice right away.  Be aware if your toddler isn't meeting the developmental milestones or starts to respond less and less.  Start interrupting their play and seek professional help.

Where to Start

While the information here is for the Ottawa region, contact an autism organization and ask about similar services in your region.

Ottawa Autism Roadmap

Contact the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre at 613-737-0871, ext. 4425   Parents can self-refer their child if over the age of 3.  All children are now seen through the Getting Started Service (over 21 months) or Wee Start Services (under 21 months) at OCTC.  Ask how long it will be before your child will be seen.

You may want to have an assessment done sooner.  Check our Info & Resouces page for private psychologists and Pediatrician (OHIP).

KickStart Intervention program:  If your child is under 24 months of age, call 613.791.3757 to inquire about our new KickStart program (fully funded by QuickStart - Early Intervention for Autism, service provider Emerging Minds).

You can take your child to a free First Words clinic to be seen and to discuss your concerns. Again, check what the wait-time is.  

Speak with an Infant Development Worker at one of the Early Year's Centres drop in play groups,

Our Next Steps videos are available on our YouTube Channel  QuickStart Autism.

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