For families supporting a child with autism, the disruptions caused by COVID-19 have been especially stressful. Radically altered routines and interrupted support services are forcing these families to draw on every coping strategy they have.
Thankfully, researchers at La Trobe University’s world-class Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) know the best way to help. Through their work, they’ve found that the most effective way to help autistic children do well in life starts with an early diagnosis.
“The earlier we can accurately identify autism, the sooner a child can receive the vital help they need to foster resilience, learn to cope better with change and reach their full potential,” says autism researcher and La Trobe alumna, Dr Josephine Barbaro.
“In fact, our research shows that children diagnosed by 24 months make significantly more advances by school age, compared to children diagnosed between 3 to 5 years.”
As co-founder of Australia’s first early assessment clinic for autism, Dr Barbaro has screened and diagnosed hundreds of children at OTARC. But one boy’s achievements will always stand out to her. His name is Henry.
Watch Henry’s video to see firsthand how an accurate and early autism diagnosis transformed his life:
For babies and toddlers growing up in these uncertain times, the chance to receive an accurate and early autism diagnosis has never been more critical. Whatever our post-COVID world looks like, caring individuals like you can ensure children like Henry have a worthy place in it.