WHAT IS AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
According to the standard dictionary, autism is “a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.”
Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD), so called because they present a wide range, or spectrum, of different social and communication challenges.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and based on epidemiology studies conducted over the past 50 years, the prevalence of ASD appears increasing globally.
By the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “in the United States, about 1 in 6 children aged 3 to 17 years have one or more developmental or behavioral disabilities, such as autism, a learning disorder, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In addition, many children have delays in language or other areas that can affect how well they do in school. However, many children with developmental disabilities are not identified until they are in school, by which time significant delays might have occurred and opportunities for treatment might have been missed.”
CAUSES OF ASD
Once ASD is a neurodevelopment condition, we cannot find one specific cause. A lot of factors, as the genetic and environmental trigger (pregnancy lifestyle, born reaction, medicines taken during pregnancy), can be some causes. Studies are keeping working on it.
HOME DIAGNOSIS IN TOODLER
All the research have shown that as soon as you identified the symptoms or developmental delay, as fast as you can get your kids a better quality of life.
Usually, the studies have shown most of the diagnosis occurs around 2-3 years old.
It is possible to get the proper diagnosis, with the doctor, since 18 months. Therefore American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that all children be screened for ASD at 18 and 24 months. which means,, it’s possible to diagnose ASD at that early age.
Remember, early identification of ASD is crucial, as it means early intervention can begin. Early intervention means more significant changes and high impact on development.
Geraldine Dawson, a clinical psychologist and autism researcher at Duke University said,“It’s the ability to detect autism at its very earliest stages that are going to allow us to intervene before the full syndrome is manifest.”
SIGNS OF AUTISM FROM 2 MONTHS TO 3 YEARS OLD
The CDC has developed an INCREDIBLE campaign called “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/index.html
This campaign shows a list where we can understand the “developmental milestones” from two months until five years old, and also what type of behavior toddlers should adopt.
With this help, as a caregiver, we can have “eyes opened” for the regular development of our kids. Helping them to control and prevent any suspected delay on their development.
The list below is from the CDC and shows some signs of delay´s development. In case you detected, repeatedly, act early and talk with your child´s doctor.
Remember always to follow your feelings and your instinct, as a parent your heart will show you the right way to take care.
“A cure for ASD is not available. Evidence based psychosocial interventions, however, such as behavioral treatment and skills training programs for parents and other care givers can reduce difficulties in communication and social behavior, with a positive impact on the person´s wellbeing and quality of life.” (WHO)