Nearly 2/3 of young moms and dads are concerned that their child will be diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) which ranges from social awkwardness to sensory problems. It’s no wonder given the runaway rates whereas 1 in every 150 kids was diagnosed with some form of autism 5 years ago, 1 on 88 kids us on spectrum today. These rising rates have inspired people to write and spread the word on commitment in helping people living with autism. Autism has no certain cause or simple cure. It’s such an enigma that it’s symbolized in awareness campaigns by a puzzle piece. But it’s changing. In the past five years alone, millions of dollars have been spent on research about autism, and we now know a tremendous amount about it. Several years ago, autistic behavior was blamed on “refrigerator moms” who were too unfeeling to teach their children social skills. During the years of research and studies, more than 400 genes have so far been linked to autism risks. Some are passed through families – one in five children with an autistic sibling will have it too. Others are gene mutations that form at one conception. One possible contributor to autism rate is that people having babies later. However, delayed child bearing explains only a very small fraction of the rise in autism rates. Environmental factors may turn many autism genes “on” or “off”. There are simple things moms can do before and after pregnancy that may reduce the risk. As your ob-gyn what medication you can use to safely bring down a fever, and stock you medicine cabinet with it during pregnancy.
The recommended age for all children to be screened for autism is 18 months. Autism is notoriously tricky to spot in infants, mainly because symptoms can mimic other developmental delays. Between 6 and 12 months, babies who go on to have autism are less likely to smile and vocalize back and forth with parents.
Certain motor skill delay can be a tip-off even earlier. Autism isn’t usually formally diagnosed until around 18 months, when it’s clearer what worrisome parents behavior persists. A lack of words or communicative gestures, and repetitive behaviors such as sorting objects are red flags at this stage. Once a child screens positive, he needs to see a specialist for an evaluation. Click here for more information.
Kelly Heyworth lives with her husband and 3 kids, one diagnosed with ASD. She works as a consultant in an engineering firm before. Right now, she is dedicated to help other moms deal about ASD in their kids.