New News – Autism
I admit it; the word Autism has always scared me.
Why? I suppose it's the fear of the unknown. It's my inability to understand. I know I am not alone. How about you?
The diagnosis of Autism, and it's significant rise in diagnosis (1 in 110 children, 1 in 70 boys), is unsettling. The fact that what causes this neurological disorder is unknown – and therefore how can I prevent it – rattles me.
How can Autism be diagnosed early, in order for a child to receive the best treatment?
Once a child is diagnosed with Autism, will they always have Autism?
These are two questions which recently received new insight.
In one article I meandered across, it noted that a diagnosis may change over time, even go away, meaning a child who is diagnosed at two years of age may no longer carry that same diagnosis at nine years of age. Researchers are quick to say that this doesn't mean that children who are diagnosed with Autism at a young age will not have the disorder as they grow older, but for some, this may be true.
The other interesting aspect to this article is that the diagnosis of Autism often seems accompanied by other diagnoses, such as developmental delays, speech delays, or anxiety. Research has noted that these diagnoses can also change. Though this can provide more challenges when confirming a diagnosis and mapping out a treatment plan, it also provides hope to many who are facing an Autism diagnosis. When it comes to Autism, symptoms can change, sometimes for the better.
In another article of interest, those looking for early insight on whether or not their child may develop Autism, may be able to find out earlier, at the time their child is as young as six months of age. Generally, screening and diagnosis for Autism is not done until a child is two years of age. Research on infants noted as high risk for developing Autism (they have siblings with the disorder) used a "sensor cap placed on the scalp to register brain activity while the babies viewed dynamic images of faces that switched from looking at them to looking away from them, or vice versa (images above)."
"This experimental laboratory test showed that most infants who did not go on to develop Autism showed clear differences in brain activity when viewing images of a face looking toward them versus one looking away. By contrast, infants who did go on to develop Autism tended to show little difference in brain activity when viewing the two types of shifting gazes."
An earlier diagnosis means the ability for earlier interventions, and early interventions have been proven to make a difference.
Looking for more information? Me too.
Check out Autism Speaks.