24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Can Medical Marijuana Help Kids With Autism?Developmental Tests Might Spot Autism at Even Younger AgesFor People With Autism, Encounters With Police Can Turn DangerousTreatments Targeting Social Behavior Hormone Show Promise With Autism'Microbiome' May Be Key to Autism SymptomsAutism Diagnoses Reliable at 14 Months, Study FindsYoung Adults With Autism Need Jobs, But Resources Vary By StateCould Treating Gut Bacteria Help Ease Autism Symptoms?Kids With Autism 'In Tune' With Mom's Feelings: StudySmartphone App May Boost Social Skills in Kids With AutismPesticides Tied to Autism Risk in KidsCan Some Children Outgrow Autism?Burden of Autism in Teens Weighs Heaviest on Minorities, PoorLargest Study Ever Finds No Link Between Measles Vaccine, AutismPoor Sleep Plagues Many Kids With AutismAutism, ADHD in One Child Tied to Raised Risk in SiblingsAnother Tally Puts Autism Cases at 1 in 40Prolonged Brain Connections Seen in Adults With AutismU.S. Autism Rate Rises to 1 in 40 Children: ReportMusic Therapy Helps Kids With Autism Connect to OthersDoes Air Pollution Raise Autism Risk?Stigma of Autism Can Take Toll on PsycheAutism Risk: Mom's Health May Matter More Than MedsKids With Autism, Delays More Likely to Be Overweight by Age 5: StudyNumber of Autism Genes Now Tops 100Depression Strikes Nearly 1 in 5 Young Adults With Autism: StudyWhat You Need to Know About Autism Spectrum DisorderKids With Autism Learn, Grow With the 'Social Robot'Research Links Long-Banned Insecticide DDT to AutismNo Link Between Tdap Vaccine, Autism: StudyGoogle Glass Helps Kids With Autism Navigate Emotions of OthersBrain Scans Yield More Clues to AutismResearchers Probe Part of Brain Where Autism Might BeginGuideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on Edge
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

What You Need to Know About Autism Spectrum Disorder

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 28th 2018

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Autism spectrum disorder -- or ASD -- is a developmental disability now diagnosed in about one in 37 boys and one in 151 girls in the United States.

Researchers are learning more about why differences in the brain develop and result in autism spectrum disorder, which includes autism and Asperger's syndrome. Both environmental factors and genetic risks are being investigated, but more studies are needed to reveal all the answers.

There's one thing known for sure: The sooner ASD can be identified, the sooner a child can be helped.

Signs of autism spectrum disorder are often apparent early in life. Children may show hints within their first few months, like the baby who doesn't seem interested in people around him. Other ASD babies seem to develop normally until 18 to 24 months, at which point they stop learning or lose skills, like the toddler who doesn't want to play peek-a-boo.

Most signs typically appear between 12 and 18 months of age.

First signs of concern. The child:

  • Doesn't respond to his or her name by 12 months.
  • Doesn't point to or show interest in objects by 14 months.
  • Doesn't play pretend games by 18 months.
  • Avoids eye contact.
  • Has delayed speech and language skills.

Later signs of concern. The child:

  • Repeats words over and over.
  • Gives unrelated answers to questions.
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine.
  • Flaps hands, rocks his or her body or spins in circles.
  • Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel.

Children with ASD often learn in ways that are different from the norm. They might be great with puzzles or computer games, but struggle with talking, sharing or making friends. They might have a hard time showing feelings and understanding the feelings of others, and have sensory issues and not want to be touched.

Pediatricians should screen all children for developmental delays and disabilities during key wellness visits. This involves a short test to check if the child is learning basic age-appropriate skills. The doctor might talk and play with your child to see how he or she talks, acts and learns.

Screening Schedule:

  • Developmental screening at wellness visits at 9, 18 and 24 or 30 months.
  • Screening specifically for ASD at 18 and 24 months.
  • More frequent screening if at high risk, such as having an immediate family member with ASD or showing behaviors associated with ASD.

If the doctor sees any signs of a problem, he or she should recommend a comprehensive evaluation from a specialist, such as a developmental pediatrician, or a child neurologist or psychologist.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information for families about ASD.