Dr. Sarah Mulder from the Traverse Area Pediatrics and Adolescent Clinic says Autism spectrum disorders are developmental disorders that children are born with that include Aspergers, Pervasive developmental disorder, and Autism.
What causes Autism spectrum disorders?
"We have not been able to find one lone cause of Autism, though there is a big push to identify the cause with hopes that there will be a preventable aspect of the condition," said Mulder. "There have been recent studies linking obesity and diabetes during pregnancy to increased risk of autism as well as the identification of a possible autism gene that, for whatever reason, gets switched off in children with autism."
Recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the incidence has increased to one in 88 children and one in 54 boys.
How can I tell if my child has Autism?
Mulder said there are a few red flags. First, make sure your child gets checked at 18 months of age. This is a must. Signs of Autism include a child that doesn't respond to their name, doesn't point or wave, does not smile or has poor eye contact, uses few words, or repeats words but doesn't use them correctly, and doesn't "pretend play."
"Your childs doctor should be doing a formal developmental screening for Autism at least at their 18 month check-up, but don't wait for that visit to express concerns if you have them," said Mulder. "The earlier we identify children who have Autism, the sooner we can get them the support and help they need, and the better outcome they have."
Mulder also said, don't ever be afraid to express your concerns to your child's doctor. Be their greatest advocate and get them the help they need and deserve.
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