What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

WARNING SIGNS OF AUTISM AND THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY INTERVENTION

     Home  >  Articles  > Special Needs
by Alison Singer

Related: autism, spectrum, disorder, special needs, children, kids, early, signs, warning, symptoms, babies, how to diagnose, infants, characteristics, early intervention, options, treatment, services, autism science foundation,


Information for parents on the early signs and characteristics of an autism spectrum disorder, plus advice on how and why you should act early.


little girl with autism; how to detect early signs of autism

Around the country and around the globe, doctors, teachers and parents are discussing the importance of early intervention and about the need to do more research in order to develop better treatments and ultimately find a cure for autism. Many people are shocked to discover that one in 110 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and yet, autism remains severely underfunded compared to other, less prevalent, childhood diseases.

 

Signs of Autism

Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by significant impairments in social interaction and communication skills, as well as by the presence of extremely challenging behaviors, like stereotyped motor behaviors (hand flapping, body rocking), insistence on sameness, resistance to change and, in some cases, aggression or self-injury. Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder have significant cognitive impairments, although some have typical or even above average IQs.  We don't know what causes autism, although the idea that vaccines might cause autism has been disproven by multiple scientific studies, and the notion that autism is caused by bad parenting has also been thoroughly debunked.
   Early signs of autism can be detected in infants as young as 6-18 months. For example, if a baby fixates on objects or does not respond to people, he or she may be exhibiting early signs of an autism spectrum disorder. Older babies and toddlers may fail to respond to their names, avoid eye contact, lack joint attention, or engage in repetitive movements such as rocking, or arm flapping. They may play with toys in unusual ways. Parents who notice these signs, or are concerned their children are not meeting developmental milestones, should contact their pediatricians and request a developmental screening.

 

The Importance of Early Intervention

Scientists agree that the earlier a child receives early intervention services the better his or her prognosis. All children with autism can benefit from early intervention, and some may gain enough skills to be able to attend a mainstream school. The most effective treatments available today are applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and occupational, speech and physical therapy. Many "cures" for autism are touted on the Internet, but many of these interventions are not backed by science and can often cause harmful side effects. Most individuals with autism will need support and services throughout their lifetime.
   The Autism Science Foundation, headquartered here in New York, was founded by parents of children with autism to support autism research, to increase awareness of the early warning signs of autism, and to encourage parents to act early if they suspect their child may have a developmental delay.  Researchers have developed age-appropriate applied behavior analysis interventions that can be highly effective for children with autism. Studies show that with intensive early intervention programs, 50 percent of children diagnosed with autism at age 3 are able to attend mainstream kindergarten by age 5.  Our challenge is to identify children early, and start early intervention services as soon as possible, so that kids with autism are able to maximize their potential. For this reason, a good deal of research is currently focused on identifying a biomarker that would enable children with autism to be identified as early as birth.

Learn more about the early warning signs of autism and about how you can support autism research efforts at www.autismsciencefoundation.org.

 

Alison Singer is the mother of a child with autism and is cofounder and president of the Autism Science Foundation.


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More Special Needs Articles

New Special Needs Website Helps Parents Understand Their Child's Legal Rights
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio Asks NYC Parents of Students with Disabilities to Take Special Ed Survey This April
How to Help Children with Special Needs Engage in Imaginary Play
The Importance of Pretend Play for Children with Autism and Other Special Needs
How to Recognize a Social Language Deficit in Children and Help Them Overcome It

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Special Needs Sponsors

MKSA
125 E. Bethpage Road, Suite 5
Plainview, NY
516-731-5588
Marion K. Salomon & Associates, Inc. serves parent...

Sportsplex@Fairfield
85 Mill Plain Road
Fairfield, CT
203-254-8399
...

JCC of Mid-Westchester
999 Wilmot Road
Scarsdale, NY
914-472-3300
The Jewish Community Center of Mid-Westchester is ...

SEED Center, The
30 Buxton Farm Road, Suite 105
Stamford, CT
203-674-8200
The Center for Social Enrichment and Educational D...

Vincent Smith School
322 Port Washington Blvd
Port Washington, NY
516-365-4900
The Vincent Smith School, located in Port Washingt...
See Our Special Needs Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE