Wellness Wisdom: Autism Awareness Month

April 1, 2017

Autism is mental condition, present from early childhood characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. It is a spectrum disorder that can ranged from very mild to very severe and occur in all ethnic, socioeconomic and age groups.

Males are four times more likely to have autism than females. Some children with autism appear normal before age 1 or 2 and then suddenly “regress” and lose language or social skills they had previously gained. This  is called the regressive type of autism.

Early signs include:

  • Not responding to their name
  • Not pointing at objects or things of interest
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Having obsessive interests
  • Having low to no social skills
  • Avoiding physical contact

So how can you have your child tested? Step one is developmental screening which is a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have delays.

All children should be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular well-child doctor visits

  • 9 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 or 30 months

Step two is a comprehensive evaluation. In some cases, the primary care doctor might choose to
refer the child and family to a specialist for further assessment and diagnosis.

Written by LaVella Head