Could it be true…. Autism does NOT have to be life long? Research regarding Autistic Disorder has progressed, since first being identified in 1943. Some of the newest research is summarized here: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/10/autism.aspx
Glicksman suggests some very important points in this article… let me break it down into the main highlights:
1. There has been a 78% increase in Autism rates, since 2002. Wow!! This is consistent with what I have seen clinically. Prevalence is higher for several reasons (i.e. better detection, more awareness)
2. “The Hope” is to improve intervention, which might mean that some can move past the “disability” by the age of 5
3. Evaluation of social deficits and repetitive actions allow experts to identify Autism as early as 12-18 months of age.
4. “In young children—especially under 2-and-a-half years—we shouldn’t treat it as a lifetime diagnosis. We can offer parents some hope that a very young child will move out of the autism spectrum or improve,”
5. If you suspect Autism do not “wait and see.” The earlier the intervention the higher the probability to prevent regression of communication and social skills.
6. There are many different intervention models designed for Autistic Disorder. However, the most important factor is not necessarily the model used but the early intervention.
7.We still do not know the exact causes of Autism. We do know there are some risk factors.
8. Experts can use brain imaging to detect Autism as early as 6 months of age. Studies were done on at risk children.
9.Parents need to look for early signs in their young children. Look for lack of interactions, not wanting to cuddle, not responding to name or smiling by age of 9 months. Many more early signs can be identified.
I think the article above highlights some great new findings in research. However, we have a long way to go in terms of understanding detection and intervention. If you carefully read the research it is clear in stating that just because there is early detection does not automatically render positive outcomes. Nonetheless, what would it hurt to be aware of early signs and talk with a professional. It concerns me when I hear a parents state they are concerned but their spouse or others tell them not to worry and the child will grow out of it. If you are concerned that something might be going on I urge you to consult with a professional. If you do not feel comfortable talking with someone about this you can email me with your questions! Drew@OptimalSolutionsColorado.com I can help connect you with the right people!
It is important that parents of young children not become over worried about this subject, rather, simply being aware of the following tips is imperative for early detection
**** The tips below are not a form of diagnosing your child, or others. These are simply areas in which you need to pay attention. Do NOT label your child (or someone else’s’)
“The following delays warrant an immediate evaluation by your child’s pediatrician.
- By 6 months: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions.
- By 9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions.
- By 12 months: Lack of response to name.
- By 12 months: No babbling or “baby talk.”
- By 12 months: No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving.
- By 16 months: No spoken words.
- By 24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating.” -Copied from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/autism_signs_symptoms.htm