A child is diagnosed with autism every 20 minutes in the United States. The numbers are staggering. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in 68 children will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Of course, we’re not talking about “numbers” and statistics — we’re talking about hundreds and thousands of children and adults in our communities who along with their families, educators and support organizations live with autism every day.
April is Autism Awareness Month across the United States and in Michigan.
View Newspapers, publisher of this paper, would like to take this opportunity to offer expert insight about autism and what scientists and medical officials know.
ASD is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASD also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and typically last throughout a person’s life.
Diagnosing ASD can be difficult since there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorders. Doctors look at the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis. ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable. However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.
There is currently no cure for ASD. However, research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development. Early intervention services help children from birth to 3 years old (36 months) learn important skills. Services can include therapy to help the child talk, walk, and interact with others. Therefore, it is important to talk to your child’s doctor as soon as possible if you think your child has ASD or other developmental problem.