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Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a diagnosis that describes significant, communication and behavioral challenges. It affects each person in different ways and varies in its severity. Even in those individuals with mild or severe autism, the varying skills or deficits may appear to be uneven. Most people with autism share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction, difficulties with communication, and repetitive stereotypical behavior.

Currently, 1 in 68 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism, making early intervention more important than ever. A study published in September 2014 the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders demonstrated that early intervention for children as young as 7 to 15 months who were already showing signs of autism, could significantly reduce or even eliminate developmental delays in learning and language skills. In 2013, a federal judge ordered Florida Medicaid to immediately cover ABA for children with autism “to prevent irreversible harm to these children’s health and development.” The large amount of scientific evidence supporting ABA treatments for children with autism have led a number of agencies to endorse the effectiveness of ABA, including the U.S. Surgeon General, the New York State Department of Health,the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. There has also been more research that indicates early intervention can help to normalize brain function of children with autism. We cannot stress enough the importance of early intervention for a child with autism. Read more about autism on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

hand-in-hand-g-and-sred-flagred-flagred-flag Some red flags for autism:

  • Lack of gestures
  • Lack of social interest
  • Lack of imagination/pretend play
  • Unable to read and react to facial expressions and/or gestures
  • Fascination with spinning or moving objects or noises
  • Inappropriate play skills
  • Difficulty maintaining eye contact
  • Delay in language and speech
  • Behavioral challenges
  • Flap hands, rock body, spin and/or toe walk
  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Line up objects
  • Does not point to items of interest
  • Not respond to name by 12 months
  • Difficulty sleeping through the night