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November is National Autism Awareness Month

November marks the start of Autism Awareness Month. It is important to have your child evaluated by a physician at an early age, to assess if they are reaching all of their developmental milestones. It is better to diagnose a child at a younger age, so they will receive the resources needed to excel.

If you notice your child is not following the milestones below, please reach out to your physician:

  • Not smiling or giving eye contact by 6 months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months, and no meaningful two word phrases by 24 months.

Facts about Autism;

  • It affects 1 in 68 children, according to the CDC 1 in 6 children in the US has been diagnosed with some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely to have autism
  • While a child can be diagnosed with autism at 18 months, the average age for diagnosis is 4 years old.
  • Autism is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the U.S.
  • Divorce rates are high in families with an autistic child. Researchers suggest reducing stress by ensuring an autistic child receives appropriate healthcare, setting aside time for a spouse, and creating a support system with other families of children with autism
  • Dogs have been shown to improve autistic children’s quality of life, independence, and safety. The presence of a trained dog can reduce aggressive behavior, calm the child, and serve as a link to the child’s

Although there is no cure for autism, there is help. Behavioral therapy will help with a child’s socialization skills. Speech therapy will help with verbalization and expression of their needs or wants. Physical and occupational therapy will help with things such as fine motor control which is important for handwriting, and pencil grip. Every child is special in their own unique way, make sure to highlight their accomplishments and give them the extra support where it is needed.

 

The Autism Society www.autism-society.org