April 2nd marks World Autism Day and since 2007, landmarks around the world have been illuminated in blue lights as a visual reminder that Autism affects 1 in 68 children in the U.S. Autism is a group of developmental issues that affect a person’s social, communication, and behavioral skills.There has been an increase in the numbers of people with Autism, due to the amount of awareness there is among parents and doctors, yet the number of Hispanic children diagnosed are low.
This is a problem because a study published last fall found that if a child gets treatment during the first 6 months of their lives, the treatment can improve the child’s social, communication, and behavioral skills, and many times even eliminate the symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
One of the advantages of catching Autism at an early age is that their parents can seek treatment and get their cildren the help they need before they enter school. If your baby does not babble, coo or gesture within 12 months and just stare at objects rather than making eye contact or looking at your face, this can be a sign he has Autism. If they don’t say single words by 16 months, two-word phrases by the time they turn 2 or the loss of language or social skills, this can also be a red flag.
The first year of your child’s life is extremely important to their future and development of their social and verbal skills. This is why it’s important that even if you notice one or two of these symptoms, you visit your pediatrician. They can perform tests and if needed, they can refer you to a neurologist, developmental pediatrician or speech and language consultant that can greatly help your child. The important thing is that you help your child seek the treatment they need as soon as possible.
In most cases Autism spectrum disorder is not diagnosed until the child is 3 or 4 years old and by that time they might be in pre-school. Babies that receive treatment during the first 6 months of their lives can possibly eliminate the symptoms, so they won’t have any trouble when they start school. Researchers continue to study patients with Autism and continue to figure out how Autism develops, but no new research has been discovered.