Friday, April 1, 2011

April is National Autism Awareness Month

Since the 1970's April has been recognized as National Autism Awareness Month. This disorder affects 1 in 110 children in the United States. Early intervention for children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an important step in helping children live fulfilling and successful lives. Although there are no absolute indicators for the disorder there are red flags that every parent should be aware of so they can have their child evaluated early if any developmental concerns arise. Filipek et al. (1999) found that the following behaviours should be used as guidelines for immediate evaluation for the possible presence of ASD: (1) no babbling by age 12 months; (2) no gesturing (pointing or waving) by 12 months; (3) no single words by 16 months; (4) no two-word spontaneous (not just imitated) phrases by 24 months; and (5) any loss of any language or social skills at any age.

Filipek, P., Accardo, P., Baranek, G., Cook, E., Dawson, G., Gordon, B., ..... Volkmar, F. (1999). The screening and diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 439-484.

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