Category: Autism

Parents Can Help Doctors Detect Autism in their Toddlers

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has developed a questionnaire that parents can fill out to screen children as young as one year old for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). The university partnered with pediatricians in San Diego County. The doctors asked parents to fill out the questionnaire at their child’s 12 month well baby check-up to screen for language and other developmental delays.

Autism Spectrum Disorders include Autism Disorder which is considered classic autism, Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which is considered atypical autism. These disorders are characterized as developmental disabilities which impair a person’s ability to communicate and interact socially. The severity of the impairment varies significantly from person to person.

One out of every 100 children in the United States is diagnosed with an ASD. The average patient is not diagnosed until around the age of five even though symptoms are present much earlier in childhood. Studies have shown that early intervention can greatly improve the severity of symptoms, leading to better development of communication and social skills in the long term. Read more →

New Studies Finds Genes Related to Brain Cell Connections Linked to Autism

Three different studies have all found genetic factors affecting the risk of autism spectrum disorders. Acting National Institute of Health Director Raynard Kington, M.D., Ph.D. comments: “These findings establish that genetic factors play a strong role in autism spectrum disorder. Detailed analysis of the genes and how they affect brain development is likely to yield better strategies for diagnosing and treating children with autism.”

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