Autism can be diagnosed at the early age; early diagnosis and early intervention can help child to progress. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:
- Lack of or delay in verbal language
- Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (for example: hand-flapping, twirling objects)
- Little or no eye contact
- Lack of interest in peer relationships
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism. An accurate diagnosis should be based on observation of the individual’s level of communication, behavior and development. However, because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms being exhibited. At a first glance, autism may appear as mental retardation with atypical behavioral symptoms that are odd and eccentric, or as a hearing problem.
To complicate matters further, these conditions can co-occur with autism. However, it is important to distinguish autism from other conditions. An accurate diagnosis and early identification can provide the basis for building an appropriate and effective educational and treatment program. A brief observation in a single setting cannot present a true picture of an individual’s abilities and behaviors. Parental (and other caregivers’ and/or teachers’) input and developmental history are important components of making an accurate diagnosis.
Though there is no single known cause or cure, autism is not treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention can lead to significantly improved outcomes. With the right services and support, people with autism can live a normal, healthy, and meaningful lives.
Research indicates that other factors besides genetic components are contributing to the increasing occurrences of Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as environmental toxins, that are present in the environment more now than in the past. Findings indicate that many children with autism or those who are at risk of developing autism have a metabolic impairment that reduces their ability to rid their bodies of heavy metals and other toxins. Build-up of these toxins in the body can lead to brain and nervous system damage and developmental delays.
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