Canadian researchers have found that inefficiencies in sensory processing of the auditory cortex appear as early as six months of age. They have mapped the emergence of network inefficiencies in infants that predict the severity of cognitive and behavioural challenges by 24 months of age.

With sensory processing playing such an influence on autism severity, the best interventions need to take individual sensory processing challenges into account in every aspect of intervention. There is one comprehensive, evidence-based, developmental approach that does just this: The Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model. Learn more at Affect Autism.

As the authors of the study discuss, social factors can impact development which is why the type of early intervention we provide is so essential. We urge the Ontario government to start looking at interventions that target development rather than behaviour. Offer parents choice in intervention. Neuroscience and developmental science support developmental approaches to autism intervention.