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Autism & You

Autism cannot be directly linked to one specific cause, but increased awareness can help you and your child manage and find the appropriate treatment.

According to the United States Center of Disease Control (CDC), autism affects every 1 in 88 births, and almost 1 out of 54 boys. Autism is manageable through habilitation and rehabilitation services using a variety of treatment approaches.

Autism cannot be “outgrown”, which makes early diagnoses and prompt treatment critical to the development of your child. Detecting the signs of autism at its early stages and intervention can lead to significantly improved outcomes.

Characteristic Behaviors of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The national Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that signal further evaluation is warranted:

  • Does not babble or coo by 12 months
  • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
  • Does not say single words by 16 months
  • Does not say two-word phrases or his/her own name by 24 months
  • Has loss of language or social skills at any age

Having any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. Because the characteristics of the disorder vary, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team.

This team may include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA), speech/language pathologist, occupational therapist, or other professionals knowledgeable about autism.

Recognizing and preparing for the challenges that autism can bring to your child can make all the difference in his or her development. The uniqueness of each individual with autism makes the experience of living with the condition different for each family.

There are some consistent issues families encounter when raising a child with autism, and acknowledging these issues and knowing what these are and having the support you need can help you enhance your child’s development.

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