What is Autism?
Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. Less severe cases may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or with Asperger's Syndrome (these children typically have normal speech, but they have many "autistic" social and behavioral problems).
How Common is Autism?
For many years autism was rare - occurring in just five children per 10,000 live births. However, since the early 1990's, the rate of autism has increased exponentially around the world with figures as high as 60 per 10,000. Boys outnumber girls four to one. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism.
What is the Outlook for Autism?
Age at intervention has a direct impact on outcome--typically, the earlier a child is treated, the better the prognosis will be. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the percentage of children who can attend school in a typical classroom and live semi-independently in community settings. However, the majority of autistic persons remain impaired in their ability to communicate and socialize. That is why I felt the need to discuss autism in toddlers. The earlier it can be detected the better for parent and child.
Very early Indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:
Here are some additional Symptoms that you can watch out for.
It is so critical that you follow your toddler's developmental milestones. You along with your doctor can track your child to make sure they are right where they are supposed to be on their development. Your doctor or health professional will be able to give you more information. The difficulty in detecting autism is that some children do develop slower than other so being a few weeks late reaching one particular milestone is nothing to worry about. When a child is late over a range of these milestones then seek advice.
Autistic children lack or rarely use the ’social gaze’, which defined is the process of looking at someone when giving them attention. ‘Joint Attention’, when parent and child are both giving their attention to the same object or person, is also rarer. These early signs forewarn of the two of most notable symptoms of autism, a lack of empathy for others and a tendency to withdraw into a world of their own.
Clumsiness, violent outbursts and repetitive movements are all common in autism. So researchers looked at how the infant moved to see if any signs of later problems can be detected. For example, the grasp reflex is what triggers the curling of a baby’s fingers around an object placed in its palm. Other reflexes help the baby to roll over and learn to crawl. During normal development these reflexes drop away as the infant grows but in some children they are retained. This makes it harder for the infant or child to control their body because moving one limb may reflexively make another move. Making the child appear uncoordinated or clumsy. Autism in toddlers is possible to detect early enough if you watch the signs.
I have found an amazing site to help diagnosis autism in toddlers. This site has great information to help with families who have autism. They also offer a checklist for you to answer if you suspect that your toddler may have autism. Please visit: http://www.autism.lovetoknow.com
It is important that we stay informed. I want to embrace any family who is going through autism in toddlers. I speak Blessings and comfort over you and your child. If there is any need that I may be able to meet, please feel free to contact me. Every child is a gift and has a great purpose. Thank You!
** I am not a Doctor or Licensed Professional in the field of Autism in Toddlers. I am a stay at home Mom passing on tips, advice and information that are based on my opinions. Always remember to consult your pediatrician with serious questions concerning your child and their development. Some of the information on this page was obtained by our family pediatrician.**
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