Autism is a challenging disorder for individuals and one of which has some telltale signs. Autism strikes early, in the first three years of life. If you’re interacting with your child and you have reason to be suspect that they could be susceptible to autism you should know the following information.
Rates of Autism in America
A Diagnosis of autism is in the realm of 1 in 110. If your child is a boy the number could be more like one in 70. Autism is a very common disorder; more common than juvenile diabetes, childhood cancer, and early cases of AIDS…combined. That means 1.5 million people in the United States are living today with autism. There are tens of millions affected worldwide. Autism stats are growing, not shrinking. Autism is rising some 10-17% annually. There is no known reason for the increases.
There are no hard and fast rules as to what causes autism and why it develops. Genetic risk factors coupled with environmental stimuli seems to fit many theories. Many genes contribute to the origination of autism; some new research indicates that it may even have to do with an inflamed central nervous system. 10-15% of cases are the result of things which are identified; Fragile X Syndrome, Angelman’s Syndrome, or Tuberous Sclerosis.
Symptoms of autism are vast and different. Autism affects your child and the way they perceive the world. Right away you may notice that your child appears disconnected. If you’ve dealt with children before you know that they have expected reactions to certain things like a set of jangling keys or a flashlight; an active finger or a smiling face. If your child seems to have checked out, won’t make eye contact, and is not interested in these signals, there could be a reason to start asking questions about autism.
There are some telltale signals that may indicate autism. If they can’t speak after 16 months; can’t connect two word phrases by two years. If they don’t develop any kind of language or social skills you should get them to your pediatrician to ask why.
Autism affects all children differently. If you’re concerned that your child may have autism, take them to see a trusted doctor. Don’t wait; early intervention is key in identifying a plan for evaluation and therapy.