Understanding Autism: What Parents Should Know
Autism spectrum disorder—also simply known as autism—is a developmental disability that affects over 200,000 patients in the United States per year. Those diagnosed with autism face significant challenges relating to communication and behavior. Since it is a spectrum, autism affects those diagnosed differently. Some may require a lot of help in order to live comfortably while others may not. As such, the learning and thinking abilities of those with autism can also range vastly. Learning the signs of early detection is one of the best things parents in order to provide rich and fulfilling lives for their autistic children. If you’re in the El Paso area, Pasitos Clinic can help.
Signs of Autism During Childhood Development
In general, babies have certain developmental milestones they must achieve during their first few months of life. Although not all children with autism display these signs, it’s still important to keep them in mind in case you notice something’s amiss. If you notice that your child is exhibiting any of the following signs, contact Pasitos Clinic as soon as possible for an autism evaluation.
- 6 Months: Limited or no eye contact; little to no warm, joyful expressions.
- 9 Months: Little or no sharing of sounds, smiles, or facial expressions
- 12 Months: Little to no babbling, response to name, or back-and-forth gestures such as pointing or waving
- 16 Months: Speaking very few or no words
- 24 Months: Speaking very few or no two-word phrases
Parents should also be aware of the following signs, which can occur at any age:
- Avoiding eye contact
- A delay in language development
- Repetitive behaviors
- Intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, etc.
What Causes Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder. As such, a plethora of genetic and environmental of influences can cause it to occur. Autism tends to run in families and there is a higher risk of autism if either parent is older (advanced age) or if there are pregnancy or birth complications (extreme prematurity or low birth rate are some examples). In order to decrease the risk of autism, it’s important for mothers to take prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid before and at conception as well as throughout the pregnancy.
What Parents Can Do
So, if you’ve noticed that your child isn’t maintaining eye contact or speaking as vocally as a baby of that age should, what is there to do? If you’re in the El Paso area, visit Pasitos Clinic. Autism can’t be diagnosed with a medical test. The doctor will look at the child’s behaviors and development in order to make a diagnosis. Early intervention is crucial for children with autism to live happy, fulfilling lives. In many cases, autism can be detected at 18 months or sometimes younger. Pasitos Clinic is devoted to the children of El Paso. We provide all-encompassing aid to children who have been diagnosed with autism. Give us a call today to schedule a meeting with our helpful and caring staff.