Monday, April 16, 2012
What Is Autism?
Do you know someone who has autism? Maybe you have an autistic person in your family? Have you ever wondered why he or she acts like that? What is autism anyway?
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States among children aged three to twelve. More children are diagnosed with autism in one year than AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined. It's not known exactly how many children get this dreaded disease but the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that there are many more people with autism than previously thought. They don't know if this is due to an increasing rate of the illness or not. It is known that autism affects boys three to four times as much as girls.
The proper name for autism is Autistic Spectrum Disorder but most people like you and I just call it autism.
The parents of autistic children notice that something is wrong with their child by the time he's eighteen months old. They usually seek out help by the time the child is two years old. The child with autism usually have difficulties in: pretend play, social interactions and verbal communication.
There are many symptoms of autism and I've included a few of them here. The symptoms include: having unusual distress when routines are changed, the child will use gestures instead of talking, he or she won't respond to smiles, the child may avoid eye contact or the child will like solitary or ritualistic play. He or she won't imitate the actions of others like non - autistic children will. This is just a partial list of symptoms. You can see the full list by looking at my resources below.
There are some therapies that can help the autistic child available. It's best to start these treatments early on. These treatments include: applied behavior analysis (this is usually done in the child's home), occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and medicines.
Children should be regularly seen by their pediatricians and have routine exams performed on them. If these tests show anything at all to cause concern for either the parents or the doctor, further tests can be performed. Here are some milestones that a non - autistic baby normally meets: babbling by twelve months, gesturing (pointing, waving bye - bye) by twelve months and the child should be saying spontaneous phrases by twenty - four months of age. During his or her development; he shouldn't lose any language or social skills at all.
If you have concerns about your child's development please visit your local Easter Seals Center or your local Autism Center. In my area, that would be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You'll find their website at: http://www.autismcenterofpittsburgh.com. For further information, check out my resources!
What Is Autism? http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism
KENCREST: Autism Services: http://www.kencrest.org/autism-services/Autism-Services-Overview.htmgclid=CI6n0fqzig8CFYbe4AodlWfa9g
DMUM: Improving The Quality of Life For Children With Autism One Step At A Time! http://www/dmum.org/TM/MLS%20Landing%20Page/Copy%20integlpAKP2.html?gclid=CNTelvO4iq8CFYrb4Aodhk6a0Q
PubMed Health - Autism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002494
Web M.D.: http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/autism-symptoms and http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/autism-symptoms?page=2