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US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the latest statistics show 1 in 50 US kids now has autism.

Fifteen years ago, 1 in 10,000 kids had autism. Ten years ago it was 1 in 1,000, then 1 in 150, 1 in 88 and now 1 in 50. This means there is one child with autism on just about every school bus (one school bus holds about 50 children).  

Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
More below.

Developmental Milestones

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye bye" are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (crawling, walking, etc.).
Learn the Signs. Act Early.

Download Developmental Checklists

Developmental Screening

Developmental screening is a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have delays. During developmental screening the doctor might ask the parent some questions or talk and play with the child during an exam to see how she learns, speaks, behaves, and moves.

If the doctor sees any signs of a problem, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is needed.

Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation

The second step of diagnosis is a comprehensive evaluation. This thorough review may include looking at the child’s behavior and development and interviewing the parents. It may also include a hearing and vision screening, genetic testing, neurological testing, and other medical testing.

In some cases, the primary care doctor might choose to refer the child and family to a specialist for further assessment and diagnosis. Specialists who can do this type of evaluation include:
•Developmental Pediatricians (doctors who have special training in child development and children with special needs)
•Child Neurologists (doctors who work on the brain, spine, and nerves)
•Child Psychologists or Psychiatrists (doctors who know about the human mind)

Early diagnosis and intervention is essential to providing better outcomes for people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

I don't want this diary to be a place to argue over the cause of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders.  I don't want people to argue over whether the numbers indicate better diagnostic tools or if there really is an increase. Please do that elsewhere.

Autism not only affects the person who has it, but the entire family as well.  Autism is a reality that far too many face without adequate support and understanding.  So let's begin with awareness and intervention.  Thanks.

Originally posted to Foundmyvoice on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 07:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Parenting on the Autism Spectrum and KosAbility.

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