Thursday, April 5, 2012

Autism Spectrum Diagnoses

The Center for Disease Control released a new report last week stating that 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with some form of Autism.That is a 23 percent increase from their report in 2009 and a 78 percent increase in the report from 2007. In addition to the increase, the CDC goes on to report that boys (1 in 54) are almost 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with a form of Autism than girls (1 in 252).

The majority (62%) of the children in this study had no intellectual disability. The majority of the children were rated as average or above average on intelligence tests.

Should this study frighten parents? I do not believe so. I believe that this article encourages parents to be proactive in treatment for their children. The study states that most parents noticed a developmental delay in their child prior to the age of 1. Most of these delays were thought to be vision or hearing related. Due to this early intervention, the children were able to be diagnosed at an earlier age. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the sooner parents were able to obtain therapy including but not limited to speech, occupational and physical therapy.

With early detection, dedicated family and quality therapists many of these children have been able to make great strides in their health.

As you review the developmental milestone reports that your doctors provide you and the numerous ones that you can find online, please keep in mind that each child develops differently. These reports are just guidelines of when your child should be reaching, or should be closing to reaching a milestone. On the other side of that coin, if your child is nowhere near reaching a milestone, you need to advise you pediatrician immediately and see how they think you should proceed. Allow your doctor to be a partner in your family's wellness. Provide them with the information they need to make sure your child is on the right track.

Read the full report from the CDC here.

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