All Lake County children will grow up in safe, supportive and healthy environments,
In March 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States and almost 1 in 54 boys. The spotlight shown on autism as a result of the prevalence increase opens opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve these families facing a lifetime of supports for their children.
· 1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder.
· Prevalence is estimated at 1 in 68 births.
· Between 1 and 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
· Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.
Early Warning Signs
Autism is complex and can be difficult to diagnose because it affects each child differently, but there are signs parents should look out for – like the ones below. As soon as you notice symptoms, you should take your child to a doctor or health care provider.
· Eye Contact. Autistic children make little or no eye contact.
· Speech. Look for late speaking or no speaking at all. Some autistic children have trouble expressing needs or do not respond to verbal communication.
· Relationships. Sometimes autistic children have difficulty relating to other people, prefer to be alone, or don’t like to cuddle.
· Play. Children are naturally active and creative, so take note if your child doesn’t play. Also keep in mind that autistic behavior sometimes includes unusual play patterns like spinning objects over and over again.
· Extreme Behaviors: Watch for extreme behavior like too much laughing or crying for no reason, tantrums, and sensitivity to pain (or lack of it). Sometimes autistic kids don’t have a natural fear of danger, and are fixated on certain objects for a long time. Repetitive movements like hand-flapping also can be an early sign of autism.
Resources Available to Help
If you have concerns about your child's development, don't wait – talk to your doctor or health care provider about getting an autism screening. The following services can also help:
· California Department of Developmental Services. For children under age 3, call 1-800-515-BABY (2229) and select the “Early Start” extension number. For children between ages 3 and 5, call First 5 California at 1-800-KIDS-025 for screening services and information on whether your child can receive free special needs assessments.
First 5 Lake will inspire and promote healthy, safe, happy, and family-centered experiences for children 0 - 5 through partnerships with local families and service providers.