Symptoms of autism often include lack of eye contact, not smiling, minimal babbling and little interest in social interaction. Simple games like peek-a-boo, patty-cake and other interactive activities can help increase an autistic child’s development and may even prevent latent symptoms of autism from evolving. The New York Times quotes David Mandell, Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as saying “what you ultimately might be doing [through early intervention] is preventing a certain portion of autism from ever emerging.”
“Early therapeutic intervention is the first thing a parent needs to do as soon as the first signs of autism emerge,” says Britt Collins, M.S, OTR/L at Salem Hospital Regional Rehabilitation Center in Salem, Oregon and co-author of Sensory Parenting. “Parents also have to follow through at home on a daily basis for early intervention to be most effective and impact future intensified signs or symptoms.” Play serves as a vital medium for therapeutic interventions for children with autism.