Autism Can Now Be Diagnosed At Early Age

The number of children being diagnosed with autism has risen sharply during the past decade.  Until now, most children are diagnosed with the disorder between ages 3 and 4, and this is partially because parents do not notice or realize that there is something wrong before that time.  As a result, for many children, precious time is lost.

Researchers have recently revealed that there are methods of diagnosing children at a much younger age – as young as 4 to 6 months – based on various factors.  They also state that the earlier the diagnosis and intervention, the better chance the child has of less impairment from autism.  In fact, if autism is diagnosed early and intensive behavioral therapy as well as other treatment is initiated, it has been shown that the child has greater gains in IQ and language.  Behavioral therapy helps children with autism to stretch their comfort zone and do things such as looking at a person in the face and express emotions, which are often quite difficult for individuals with autism.

Researchers feel that just like learning anything else, the younger the child is, the easier it is for them to learn these things.  Even if the child is not definitively diagnosed at a few months old, keeping an eye on symptoms and addressing them with their doctor and/or a specialist sooner rather than later is essential in creating a much more positive outcome and a much more normal life for a child with autism.  They are using diagnostic tools involving certain eye movements to begin the diagnosis process in young children.

The Centers for Disease Control have said that 1 in every 150 children are diagnosed by the time they are 8 years old. This is 10 times the amount of children who were diagnosed in the same age bracket during the 1980’s, making it even more essential that children get treatment as early as possible.  By doing this, researchers say that symptoms will be reduced significantly.

The fact that time can be saved and treatment can be started early is good news and should provide hope for parents of children with autism, that their children will live more normal and fulfilling lives.

Entry Filed under: Common Symptoms

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