The Wall Street Journal (5/9, D3, Wang, Subscription Publication) reports that in Baltimore, MD, at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, researchers are conducting experiments in which toddlers who are at increased risk for autism spectrum disorders are put into groups designed to elicit improvements in how the little ones socialize and communicate. Currently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most youngsters who receive an autism diagnosis are about four, and behavioral and social interventions take place even later. However, the sooner children start with such interventions, the better their outcomes are in the long run. For that reason, the Kennedy Krieger intervention groups are focusing on one- and two-year-olds. The toddlers are engaged in intense playgroups with specific activities designed to help them learn to form concepts. So far, results are promising.
— “Targeting Child’s Play to Help Tackle Autism,”Shirley S. Wang , The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2012.