COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Current waitlists for an autism diagnosis can be years in Colorado. This can be traumatic for individuals with autism and their families who are desperate for help.

“Early signs is that lack of eye contact when they are young basically not progressing as a typical child would progress whether that is language, communication, engaging in ridged or repetitive behavior,” Director of Firefly South Mandy Rades said.

Firefly Autism said an early childhood intervention is vital in how autistic children navigate this world. They can evaluate toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults. Firefly Autism in Colorado Springs and Denver is providing an intensive assessment with no waitlist.

“Research definitely shows the earlier we can start working with them using applied behavior analysis the better the outcomes are that’s not to say the older kiddos can’t benefit from our services, but a lot of progress can be made in those early years,” Rades explained.

There’s no blood test, brain scan, or other objective tests that can diagnose autism. Firefly Autism started its own diagnostic center with an onsite psychologist. The Colorado Springs location opened in June and give clients one-on-one individual therapy throughout their session.

“It’s all completely tailored to each child specifically,” Rades added. “I think there is not as much stigma around it as there was even 10 years ago and I think there are tons more resources for families.”