With more children being diagnosed with autism each year than juvenile diabetes, AIDS and cancer combined, chances are you know a family member, friend or co-worker who has a child with autism. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children, and is four to five times more common in boys than girls. Most parents of autistic children realize something isn’t right by the time the child is 18 months old. As a parent, it is important to learn the facts and early signs of autism. Autism Speaks, a national autism science and advocacy organization, lists the following red flags as indicators that a child may have an autism spectrum disorder:
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months
- No babbling by 12 months
- No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
If your child exhibits any of these signs contact your pediatrician or family doctor.
For additional information, visit the Autism Spectrum Disorder resource page at www.Up2SD.org
Additionally, you can visit the Autism Society of America’s San Diego Chapter at www.sd-autism.org. SDASA programs and outreach include parent support groups, special events, newsletters and a local resource guide.
Information courtesy of A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia and www.autismspeaks.org.