April Is Autism Awareness Month—What You Need to Know About ASD
posted by The Live Better Team | April 11, 2016
• Autism spectrum disorders affect nearly five times as many boys as girls.
• Half of children with autism have gastrointestinal disorders such as pain and constipation.
• About a third of people with autism have epileptic seizures.
• Sleep problems occur in 40 percent to 70 percent of people with autism.
• Approximately 10 percent of people with autism have special gifts known as “savant skills.” These might take the form of memorization or calculation abilities or be expressed musically or artistically.
• As many as 40 percent of people with autism never speak.
Parents often notice symptoms in their children long before the age of two. Signs of autism are sometimes present at a child’s first birthday. Characteristic behaviors in infants might include:
• Not responding to a mother’s voice
• Not looking people in the eye or smiling in response to social cues
• Not babbling or cooing by age one
• Not pointing, waving, or grasping by age one
• Does not say single words by 16 months
• Does not say two-word phrases by 24 months
Babies who do not have autism demonstrate these behaviors, too, but it’s important to contact your pediatrician right away with any concerns because early intervention is essential. Toddlers may not seem interested in playing interactive games, often resist being touched or held, and may appear to have selective hearing loss. There can also be:
• Repeated rocking or spinning motions, hand flapping
• Repeating words or phrases
• Getting upset by minor changes
• Loss of language skills
• No interest when adults point out objects
Early detection and intensive treatment, ideally before age three, can help most children learn to communicate and relate to others by changing the underlying brain development and activity. Experts recommend screening all children at nine months old for delays in basic skills, with ASD checkups at 18 months and 24 months.
“It is never too late to expand the mind of a person on the autism spectrum.” – Temple Grandin
If you are concerned about possible signs of autism in your child, Revere Health Family Medicine offers a collaborative network of pediatric specialists in 14 locations across Utah. You’ll receive personalized attention because we place your family’s health above all else.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.
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