These days, there are few families on Long Island who haven’t been touched in some way by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In fact, one in 59 children have this diagnosis. Even though most children do not receive an Autism diagnosis until after the age of four, many parents of children with ASD notice problems with development before their child’s first birthday. With early identification, there has been shown to be an increased likelihood of improving long-term outcomes.
According to Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization, “Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.”
The American Psychiatric Association now groups four previously distinct Autism-related diagnoses into a single category known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes:
ASD is considered to be a “developmental disorder,” because the signs and symptoms tend to appear in the first two years of life. Unfortunately, many children do not formally receive an autism diagnosis until they are much older, resulting in lack of access to important interventions and supports.
Recent research has shown that early intervention is one of the keys to helping children and parents manage Autism. With therapy and behavioral interventions, children can learn important skills, such as talking, walking and interacting with others, which may improve the symptoms of the diagnosis over time.
An Autism diagnosis can be made by a clinician based on the presence of certain signs and symptoms, such as impairments in social communication and interaction, and the results of testing. ASD cannot be diagnosed by a simple blood test. Instead, it can manifest itself in children in many different ways and at many different times.
A developmental screening is a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have delays. At this time, a health care professional might ask the parent some questions, or talk and play with the child to see how they learn, speak, behave and move. Although an early diagnosis is important, intervention at any age can help to improve a child’s emotional and social wellness.
All children should be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular well-child doctor visits at:
Join us on September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at John J. Burns Town Park in Massapequa for the Town of Oyster Bay Walk for Autism, benefiting The Fay. J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Advantage Care. Your support will help us to provide the highest quality state-of-the-art clinical services to people with ASD.
Click here to register for the event.