Monday, March 11, 2013

Autism Screening Quiz

There are many early warning signs and symptoms of autism that can present in babies, some say as early as 6 months to one year old, though most children get diagnosed with autism-like symptoms closer to the age of 18 months when the signs become more apparent. Some of the early warning signs include:
• Impaired social interaction

• Problems with verbal and non-verbal communication

• Failure to respond to name

• Avoidance of eye contact with other people

• Repetitive movements such as rocking or twirling

• Self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging
With autism numbers on the rise (a CDC study shows that as many as 1 in 100 children have autism), it is only natural that paranoia may set in when it comes to signs of this baffling disorder whose cause is so unknown. How many of us haven’t felt that twinge of fear when your baby doesn’t respond to his name, or doesn’t say any words by the age of 12 months? How many parents have woken up panicked in the middle of the night and gone to the computer to Google the signs of autism? If you’ve ever worried that your baby may have autism but did not want to ask your pediatrician for fear of sounding like an over-worried parent, now there is a quiz you can take that will help you know if you really should ask a professional to evaluate your child.  According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, there are a number of things that parents, teachers, and others who care for children can look for to determine if a child needs to be evaluated for autism. This autism quiz asks about 'red flags' that could be a sign that a Pediatrician or other health professional should evaluate a child for autism or a related communication disorder.
But before you panic, keep in mind that other conditions can also cause these symptoms, that you have to consider what your child can do in an age appropriate manner (for example, a 6 month old likely won't respond to his name), and that normal children can have some of these symptoms and behaviors (like being independent, walking on her toes, or preferring to play alone).

Having one or more of these signs, symptoms, and behaviors should prompt a discussion with your Pediatrician to see if further evaluation needs to be done. If you have any doubt, you should never fear asking a professional for help. Countless scientific studies show that when caught at a young age, early intervention using the treatment methods of applied behavior analysis (ABA) are extremely effective at helping a child with autism lead a more typical life.

To start the quiz, click on the link:
Daniel Adatto, BCBA

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