Autism. It’s a word we hear a lot, and often with mixed emotions. In fact, it makes sense, because 1 in 68 children nationally are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, making it the most prevalent childhood disorder in the U.S. (CDC 2014). It’s no wonder as a care coordinator that I get calls from concerned parents as to where to go for help.
I’m over-simplifying it, but children with autism typically have delays in language and social interactions. Here are some early indicators that your child may have autism (keep in mind that 1 or 2 from this list may not be indicative of a concern, but the more your child has, the more you may want to check it out):
· No babbling or pointing by age 1
· No single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
· No response to his/ her name
· Loss of language or social skills
· Poor eye contact
· Excessive lining up of toys or objects
· No smiling or social responsiveness
· Difficulty with engaging
· Does not seem to enjoy or seek interactions with others
If you’re concerned, visit with your doctor. He/she can administer an MCHAT which is a simple screening tool for autism. From there, you may want to seek an assessment or evaluation. Help Me Grow can find community resources appropriate for your child from assessments to evaluations to treatments and information along the way.