April is National Autism Awareness Month and with that it is the perfect time to share this very valuable resource on detecting early signs of Autism as well as a whole host of great resources.
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears in the first three years of life. It is the most common condition in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) group—also referred to as pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)—and effects individuals to varying degrees, from very mildly to severely.
Children with autism have difficulties communicating, interacting with others and exhibit different ways of processing learning, reacting and paying attention.
According to the Autism Society of America, approximately 1 percent of children in the U.S. ages 3 to 17 have an ASD, and prevalence is estimated at one in 110 births. Ohio is tenth in the country of children with Autism (statistic from 2003). There is no cure for autism, but the condition is treatable and children can recover. Early diagnosis and intervention (therapy) can significantly improve the outcome and reduce the cost of lifelong care.
Early Signs of Autism to look for in children:
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Repetition of actions or language
- Little or no eye contact
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
- Little interest in interaction with other children
- No interest in “pretend” play
- Aversion to being held or cuddled
Consult with your pediatrician if you have noticed any of the above.
The Autism Society of America has compiled a list of ways to help advance awareness of autism. You can learn more about ASD from:
- National Autism Awareness Month - http://www.autsim-society.org/
- Help Me Grow –http://www.blogger.com/www.ohiohelpmegrow.org (for children from birth to age 3)
- Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities – http://www.odmrdd.state.oh.us/
- Check with your County Board of Developmental Disabilities
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – http://www.cdc.gov/
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
- Autism & PDD support network – http://www.austism-pdd.net/
- Autism Speak – http://www.autismspeaks.org/
- Autism Research Institute – http://www.autism.com/
Easter Seals, a leading provider of services for children with autism and other disabilities, has recently launched an online version of its popular disability-awareness curriculum, Friends Who Care, for parents or teachers to use. Download it at www.easterseals.com/friendswhocare.
Thank you CMOTC MOM Kathleen P. for sharing this great resource on our blog.