I have parents ask me all the time about this elusive “window” for autism recovery. You know what I mean, right? We’ve been told in the past through the media and various sources (mostly well-intentioned, I believe) that you must get an autism diagnosis and begin treatment immediately, because there is only a small window of time for helping your child recover and lead a “normal” life.
Most of these sources tend to say the window closes by the time your child reaches 5, 6, or 7, which leaves the parents rushing to treat their child with every possible therapy they run across. The problem is that by their child’s eighth birthday, if that child is not completely recovered, the parents often lose hope.
I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
Early intervention is the key, and can often bring about astounding results more quickly, but older children and adults can make great progress and even recover much later in life, too. The brain is an amazing thing and research shows that new neural connections can be formed at ANY stage of your life given the right stimulation!
As Larry Polnicky, owner of The Brain Balance Center in Tampa, Florida, told me recently in an interview, “The brain can change at ANY age!”
I hope this comes as a relief to any parents reading this who may have fallen victim to that sense of failure and hopelessness that their child is still on the spectrum, even after years and many thousands of dollars have come and gone. If you are one of those parents, instead of beating yourself up, ask yourself the following question:
“Has my child improved from any of the efforts that have been made towards recovery?”
If the answer is a resounding “YES!”, then you should be very proud of yourself and proud of your child too. But now is not the time to lose hope. Keep educating yourself. Keep researching all of the different alternatives that might help your child. And most importantly, keep moving forward.
Because it IS possible to help our children get better. You just have to take the first step, and then another, and another. Don’t EVER give up!