APRIL IS National Autism Awareness Month

autismThe aim of this month is to educate the public about autism. Autism is a complex mental condition and developmental disability, characterized by difficulties in the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. Autism can be be present from birth or form during early childhood (typically within the first three years). Autism is a lifelong developmental disability with no single known cause.

Autism Is Widespread, Awareness About This Condition Is Not

In the United States, autism affects 1 in every 110 children. National Autism Awareness Month aims to make the public more aware about this widespread disability and the issues which arise in the autism community. As about 1 in 150 people in America have autism, the chances are that you know someone with this disability. A better informed public will be more empathetic and supportive towards people with autism.

What to Do if You Suspect Your Child Has Autism

Learn about early autism symptoms.

As a parent of a child with developmental concerns, you may wonder what to do if you suspect your child has autism. Autism is one of a number of medical conditions that involve developmental delays and impairments in communication and social skills. If you suspect autism, it is important to seek a diagnosis as soon as possible. Early intervention for autism gives a child the best chance to reach her full potential.

How to Recognize Autism Symptoms

 

Learning about common autism symptoms can help you figure out if your child needs autism screening. Typical autism symptoms include:

 

Early Signs of Autism in Infancy and Toddler Years
  • Developmental delays in many areas of the early childhood developmental milestones
  • Does not begin baby talk by 12 months
  • Infants and toddlers may not point or grab things
  • Resists being held or cuddled
  • Has no interest in other babies
  • Frequent tantrums
Signs of Autism in Children
  • Limited to no speech
  • Repeats words out of context (echolalia)
  • Repetitive or obsessive behaviors such as flapping hands, rocking or licking objects
  • Has no interest in playing with other children
  • No pretend play
  • Unusual play such as spinning objects for hours, lining up objects or playing with strange objects
  • Sensory issues such unusual reactions to certain noises, tastes or situations
  • Problems with body awareness such as an inappropriate response to pain