Autism Symptoms

You can observe some Autism symptoms in a person as young as two years old and sometimes even younger. Here are the main Autism symptoms that will allow you to identify or wonder if your a member of your family, a friend or anyone else might be affected by this disorder. The severity of these Autism symptoms may vary as each individual is unique. That is why it is evaluated on a spectrum.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One of the country's leading Autism centers say they can now detect Autism Symptoms earlier than ever

Doctors at Maryland's Kennedy Krieger Institute, one of the country's leading autism centers, say they can now identify symptoms in children younger than ever before.
Children with autism withdraw into their own private worlds. Most children are not diagnosed until they are 3 to 5 years old, but the signs can appear as early as 6 months. The problem is those signs often go unnoticed or are ignored.
"Most people use the rule of thumb that if a child is showing developmental delays before the age of 3 that they'll catch up," said Rebecca Landa, a researcher at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. "But children with autism usually don't," Landa said.
Researchers at the institute are documenting in video just what symptoms to look for, even in an infant.
In one video, Landa points out how a baby does not look into his mother's face. "He's very unengaged with her," Landa said.
Regressive Autism In about 30 percent of autism cases, researchers are now documenting what they call "regressive autism."
A child appears to develop perfectly normally for about a year, then something happens.
One boy documented by the Kennedy Krieger Institue is engaged and smiling at his mother at 6 months, with no signs of a problem.
When he reaches one year, he appears a little shy, but again, there is no reason for concern.
But at age 2, Landa says the signs in the boy are more obvious.
"Now you can really see autism in its full form. This child is not speaking. He's not paying attention to any social cue. He's totally fixated on the objects," she said.
Different children will develop autism at different ages. What's critical, say therapists, is to detect it when the first signs appear, because that's when treatments are most effective.
Chloe was diagnosed with autism when she was 2 years old. At the time, she could not speak or interact with the children around her, and she did not want to be touched.
But after four months of intensive daily therapy, Chloe's behavior improved significantly.
"She is talking now," Landa said. "She looks to the teacher and shares enjoyment. She looks to others to know what she should be doing."
Chloe will still require many more years of treatment, but Landa's research has shown these early gains do last.