Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication.The research is very active at this point because of the increasing number of children diagnosed with autism.
There are a number of causes that have been suspected, but not proven. Here is list of possible causes:
Digestive tract changes
The body’s inability to properly use vitamins and minerals
Some research has shown that identical twins are much more likely than fraternal twins or siblings to both have autism. Some research has linked older men are more likely to father a child with autism than younger men.
Proven facts about Autism
Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
Autism prevalence figures are growing
Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
Boys are nearly five time more likely than girls to have autism
There is no medical detection or cure for autism
Parents must be aware and learn the early detection of signs of autism. Parents trust your parental inclinations. Early intervention and screening in the first year of a child’s development is vital. Studies have proven that early behavioral intervention improves the child’s learning, the way they communicate and how they develop their social skills.
Parents should monitor closely how their child interacts and reacts to children of their own age. Parents should not develop the attitude that this is a phase of growing up and being a child. Also, parents can investigate their family for signs of this disorder somewhere in the family tree.
It is imperative that parents and caregivers learn the early signs of autism and the developmental stages of a child at a certain age. Here are some of the noted ‘red flags’ that may indicate this disorder:
By six months no big smiles or joyful expressions
No sharing of sounds or facial expressions by nine months
No babbling by 12 months (talking rapidly in a way that is difficult to understand)
By month 12 no gestures as pointing, showing, reaching or waving
No words by 16 months
No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months
Any loss of speech at any age
As a parent, if you see or suspect some of these disorders, don’t hesitate to take your child to your family doctor or pediatrician for an evaluation. Make notes of the behaviors that you see. Written documentation, dates, video recordings, and take pictures.
Provide as much information that will be needed during the evaluation. Do your homework and find a good doctor that has worked with children with autism. Keep a log of your child’s daily developmental behaviors.
Present this information to your pediatrician or family doctor. Make two copies, one for your records. Keep a file on the evaluation and conversation that you have with a doctor. Do not go on the visit along. Besides the child, have your friend, relative or sufficient other to be present. You listen and you learn how to best help your child. Four ears are always better than two. Children first.
‘You don’t have to have autism to notice every detail…your child is telling you something with everything they do. Are you listening?’ - Stuart Duncan