FACTS/CAUSES/MYTHS OF AUTISM

If a child does not achieve typical development milestones by the age of 18 months old, this may be an early sign of autism. With proper evaluation, it is possible for a child under the age of 2 to be diagnosed. However, most children are identified between the ages of 2 and 3 years old. It’s important for parents to understand and carefully observe their children for early symptoms of autism such as: child does not babble or coo by 12 months of age; the child does not wave, point, grasp or make other gestures by 12 months of age; the child does not say single words by 16 months of age. Diagnosing is hard because there's no medical test for it. Instead an autism diagnosis is based on a qualified professional's evaluation of symptoms or behaviors. Just remember that signs, symptoms and severity can vary.

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Statistics say that 25% of people with autism are nonverbal or minimally verbal. Some who are verbal may be quiet, yes, but others are very chatty. It's like the popular saying goes: If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.

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Nearly half of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) try to wander or run off, even when there’s adult supervision. Individuals with autism are prone to wandering for various reasons, and many are drawn to bodies of water. For that reason, they're at significant risk of drowning. It’s vital to get your child swim lessons while they are young as preventive measure and to avoid their risk of drowning.

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In general autism is a lifelong condition, though patterns and severity of symptoms change in adulthood. Some interesting studies suggest that over a period of years, a small proportion of children diagnosed with autism may cease to experience or show symptoms possibly in response to intensive early intervention. These claims need to further verification. However, in reality, children on the spectrum grow up to be adults on the spectrum.

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Approximately 40% of individuals diagnosed with autism are non-verbal. About 25%-30% of children with autism may speak some words around age 12 to 18 months, but then lose them. Others may gain the ability to speak later in childhood. Some individuals on the spectrum have mild to severe intellectual impairment, the intellectual functioning of many others is within, and in some cases above, the normal range.

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The percentage of autism in individuals has increased worldwide in recent years. However, it’s still unclear as how these percentages are calculated. It could be the changes in how doctors diagnose and report cases of autism or perhaps an environmental factor surrounding an individual. Experts say the bulk of the increase stems from a growing awareness of autism and developments in how autism is diagnosed. In the United States, the prevalence of autism increased from about 1 in 150 children in 2000 to 1 in 68 children in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This increase is likely due to a combination of better efforts to diagnose autism, and an increase in people with the condition, the CDC says.

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Nearly half of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) try to wander or run off, even when there’s adult supervision. Individuals with autism are prone to wandering for various reasons, and many are drawn to bodies of water. For that reason, they're at significant risk of drowning. It’s vital to get your child swim lessons while they are young as preventive measure and to avoid their risk of drowning.