The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report finds that “the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is largely unchanged from two years ago, at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent).” 50% of American people with ASD are thought to be undiagnosed. This is due to the increased knowledge of autism which has occurred since the 1990’s. Before this, people were misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that it,
estimates a 15 percent increase in prevalence nationally: to 1 in 59 children, from 1 in 68 two years previous.
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Unfortunately it is clear that autism is on the increase. However thankfully children with autism have a better chance of a good quality of life now than they did a decade ago. This is largely due to the huge amount of research conducted and development plans created to improve treatment of the disorder.
Autism is a mental condition/disorder which is present in very early childhood. It can be easily misdiagnosed because the autism spectrum is so vast. Children and people with autism can suffer from different symptoms and there’s no two the same. That is how broad the spectrum is. People with autism have developmental delays which affect their social and language skills.
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Autism can be broken up into three types which are Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Development Disorder. An autistic disorder is what can crudely be known as common autism. When you find out someone has autism this is the most likely type they will have. You can notice the person having difficulty with communicating overall but also speaking in general. Their behavior can be different from what is considered normal and they also have some learning difficulties.
Asperger syndrome is much like an autistic disorder but some of the signs you would notice in an autistic disorder may not be visible with someone with Asperger syndrome. They can usually communicate better both by physically speaking and through their behavior and are usually less likely to have learning disabilities.
Finally, a pervasive development disorder (PDD) is unlike any of the two already mentioned. This could be considered a more mild version of autism because someone with PDD may only have trouble communicating both physically and socially. Their behavior and learning abilities remain unaffected.
What are The Symptoms of Autism?
As we mentioned before there are three types of autism with similar signs regarding to each but overall neither symptom can be a defining symptom for diagnosis without a proper medical referral. However, some symptoms you can look out for are:
Although, these symptoms are signs of autistic disorders they can also be signs or other serious disorders too. This is why we advice seeking professional medical advice before confirming if someone has autism or any other medical condition.
Some parents will have their child diagnosed with autism relatively early. This is good for early intervention. It is pretty difficult to notice some symptoms of autism in a child until they approach certain developmental milestones which generally take place at around 18 months in a child. Until then, diagnosis is extremely difficult. Once the child reaches roughly 18 months, it becomes apparent that they have development delay issues if they have autism.
Even at this stage there are a lot differences in child development with or without autism, as all children learn at different paces. However it is important to note some of the early signs of autism so that you can quicken your diagnosis process. If you pay attention, you could have your child diagnosed before 18 months.
Some of the warning signs for autism include:
Here are some development red flags to note by age.
It is important that parents monitor their child’s development if they suspect that their child may showing signs of autism development. Keeping a very close eye on your child’s social, emotional, and cognitive behaviors and their all around development is an effective way to spot early signs of the onset of autism as quickly as possible.
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What to do if You Suspect That Your Child Has Autism
If you’re concerned that your child may have autism, it’s best that you bring him or her to see an expert in the field of autism diagnosis. Children with autism who are diagnosed early can have massively improved quality of life if they undergo and partake in early treatment. Treatment all depends on the type of diagnosis. Before treatment occurs, a series of tests will be conducted which involve interactions, intellectual thinking, and the ability to pay attention. The tests will determine the severity of the mental condition and what treatment is appropriate.
Autism is clearly becoming more common in the 21st century. Thanks to science, our knowledge and understanding of autism is growing more and more. As a result, we have better social judgement when it comes to children who come across as badly behaved in public and, therefore, we think twice before blaming the parents. Finally we understand that unusual behaviour doesn’t always mean a lack of discipline and can be an indicator of something else entirely.
This is only one small step that society has taken to better provide support and care for families whose children are suffering with autism.