Little Pointing Or Gesturing
Babies usually learn to gesture before they learn to talk. In fact, gesturing is one of the earliest forms of communication. Autistic children generally point and gesture much less than children with nonautistic development. Less pointing can sometimes indicate the possibility of a language delay.
Another indicator of a developmental difference is when an infants gaze doesnt follow you when youre pointing at something. This skill is sometimes called joint attention. Joint attention is often decreased in autistic children.
White Matter Brain Connectivity
On the basis of diffusion tensor imaging tractography, HR-ASD infants have been reported to have abnormalities in white matter organizational structure as early as 6 months of age in multiple fiber tracts across the brain., Aberrant WM integrity has been observed by 6 months in the genu of the corpus callosum, and WM integrity in the genu and cerebellar peduncles is significantly associated with abnormal sensory responsiveness at 24 months, a clinical domain particularly affected in individuals with ASD. These reports of reduced WM organization in HR-AD infants are consistent with studies of toddlers with ASD.,
Asd Is Four Times More Likely To Occur In Boys Than Girls
That said, the validity of this stat should be put under scrutiny. According to autism misdiagnosis statistics, many autistic girls go undiagnosed. One of the reasons for that is that girls are often thought to be quieter by nature. Finally, symptoms of mental health issues might overlap with those of autism, leading up to a misdiagnosis.
You May Like: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
What Are The Risk Factors For Autism
Risk factors for autism include:
- Low birth weight
- Being exposed to a medication called valproate during the mothers pregnancy
- Older parents
Boys are diagnosed with ASD more often than girls.
Studies have shown that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Learn more about vaccines and autism from theCDC.
Structural Neuroimaging Studies Of Asd In Infancy
One of the most consistent findings from early studies of brain development in ASD has been that head size is normal at birth, but by 2 to 3 years of age, brain size is significantly enlarged. For example, a retrospective head circumference and prospective brain imaging study found indirect evidence that brain enlargement was not present at birth but emerged at the end of the first and second year of life. This finding of brain enlargement at 2 to 3 years of age has been confirmed by other studies-; however, until recently, there was a dearth of studies directly measuring brain development in the infant period, between birth and toddlerhood. The first direct MRI evidence of brain enlargement in infancy was reported for a sample of 55 infants who were longitudinally imaged between 6 and 24 months of age. The HR-ASD group had significantly faster growth trajectories of total brain volume, such that by 12 to 24 months of age, the group had larger brain volumes on average. This was the first study to prospectively measure brain volume during infancy in ASD; however, the sample size was relatively small and thus did not attempt to tease apart individual growth trajectories.
Recommended Reading: How To Make A Visual Schedule For Autism
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed
Different health care providers evaluate your child to help diagnose ASD. Providers include:
- Developmental pediatrician. This is a pediatrician who has special training in child development and taking care of children with special needs.
- Child neurologist. This is a doctor who treats the brain, spine and nerves in children.
- Child psychiatrist or child psychologist. These are mental health professionals who have special training to take care of children with emotional or mental health problems.;
- Occupational therapist. This is a specialist who helps people learn to carry out everyday activities.
- For children, this may be things like brushing teeth, getting dressed, putting on shoes or learning to use a pencil. ;
- Physical therapist. This is a specialist who creates exercise programs to help build strength and help with movement.
- Speech therapist. This is a specialist who helps people with speech and language problems. For children this may include helping with saying sounds or words correctly and completely. ;It can also include in helping children be understood and also understand others. ;
To evaluate your child, the providers may:;
Your childs providers may use medical tests to see if your child has a medical condition with signs or symptoms that are similar to ASD. These include:
What Other Experts Think
The finding of increased risk in younger grandparents is novel, said Thomas Frazier, PhD, a professor of psychology at John Carroll University in Ohio and the former chief science and program officer for Autism Speaks.
It could mean that young grandparents convey some risk to their children that magnify, or at least complement, increased risk in the parent, Frazier told Healthline.
For example, if young grandparents also have less money, and this results in poorer nutrition, that could impact the biology of the parent. These biological impacts might then be magnified in older parents, he added.
Frazier says the study suggests there may be some environmental factors that affect the child. But he says the results need to be repeated and show whether the grandparent effect remains after controlling for the advanced parental age.
For research, it suggests we should try to understand the factors, genetic and possibly epigenetic, that get transmitted from parent to child, and how this seems to result in greater problems for the child in older parents, he explained. Are there ways we can reduce these impacts? Supplementation? Exercise? Other parent health factors?
Bottom line? We need to study this more, Frazier said.
Healthline asked Lynn for her reaction to the study.
You May Like: Symmetra Autistic Comic
What Is Developmental Monitoring
At each well-child visit, your babys provider looks for developmental delays or problems and talks with you about any concerns you may have about your babys development. This is called developmental monitoring or surveillance. The provider monitors your child as a baby through school age and even later in life if he has problems with social, learning or behavior skills. If your baby has any problems that come up during developmental monitoring, he needs developmental screening.
Autism Is Not An Illness
Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.
It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young.
If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.
Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things.
You May Like: What Kind Of Autism Does Symmetra Have
Case And Control Selection
Information was extracted from the Western Australian Maternal and Child Health Research Data Base, which is a register of statutory information that has collected data from the Western Australian Midwives Notification System, birth notifications, and death registrations for all of Western Australia since 1980 . Two control groups were selected from the Western Australian Maternal and Child Health Research Data Base: all known unaffected siblings of cases and a randomly selected population control group of 3 controls per case, frequency-matched by sex to the case group. In total, there were 465 cases, 481 siblings of cases, and 1,313 population controls. Births occurring in 1996 and 1997 were originally in the data set but were excluded because of incomplete case ascertainment for those years. This resulted in there being slightly fewer than 3 controls per case. Further information on case ascertainment, sampling procedures, and study population characteristics can be obtained elsewhere .
Getting To The Causes Of Autism
Getting to the cause — or, more accurately, causes — of autism will be more difficult than unraveling the causes of cancer, says Gary Goldstein, MD, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, a facility that helps children with autism and other developmental disorders.
“There won’t be one single explanation,” says Marvin Natowicz, MD, PhD, a medical geneticist and vice chairman of the Genomic Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.
“There’s been a lot of progress in the last few years in terms of understanding the causes of autism,” Natowicz says. “We know a lot more than we did.” Still, he says, research has a long way to go. “One number you see often is that about 10% of those with autism have a definitive diagnosis, a causative condition.” The other 90% of cases are still a puzzle to the experts.
Often, a child with autism will have a co-existing problem, such as a seizure disorder, depression, anxiety, or gastrointestinal or other health problems. At least 60 different disorders — genetic, metabolic, and neurologic — have been associated with autism, according to a report published in The New EnglandJournal of Medicine.
On one point most agree: A combination of genetics and environmental factors may play a role. Scientists are looking at both areas.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Autism
What Is Developmental Screening
Developmental screening is a short test that checks to see if a child is learning basic skills when he should, or if there are delays. During developmental screening, your babys provider does a short checkup to look for signs of problems. During screening, the provider may ask you some questions or talk and play with your baby to see how he plays, learns, speaks, behaves and moves. A delay in any of these areas could be a sign of a problem. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular well-child visits at:
- 9 months
- 18 months
- 24 or 30 months
If your childs provider doesnt do this kind of developmental screening, you can ask the provider that it be done. Some babies may need extra screening if theyre at high risk for developmental problems because they were born prematurely or with low birthweight or because of other reasons, like having a brother or sister with ASD. If the provider thinks your baby may have ASD, she needs a full evaluation before a diagnosis can be made.
The Research By The Numbers
The team of researchers studied data from Danish national health registries that included three generations and nearly 1.5 million children.
They found that the chance of having ASD for children born to parents who are in their 30s is up to 10 percent higher than parents who are 25 to 29 years old.
The researchers also reported that the chance is 50 percent higher when the parents are in their 40s or 50s.
We observed that children with young maternal grandparents and children with young and old paternal grandparents had higher risk compared with children of grandparents who were 25 to 29 years old at the time of the birth of the parents, Liew said.
He says these findings, however, are unique and require further replications.
Don’t Miss: Does Autism Affect Life Expectancy
How Is Autism Diagnosed
Doctors check babies and little kids for signs of autism at every checkup. A parent may think that something is wrong and tell the doctor. Maybe the child is old enough to speak but doesn’t. Or a kid doesn’t seem interested in people or plays in unusual ways.
When a doctor thinks a kid might have autism, he or she will work with a team of experts to see if it is autism or something else.
How Is Asd Diagnosed
ASD symptoms can vary greatly from person to person depending on the severity of the disorder. Symptoms may even go unrecognized for young children who have mild ASD or less debilitating handicaps.
Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed by clinicians based on symptoms, signs, and testing according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V, a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association used to diagnose mental disorders. Children should be screened for developmental delays during periodic checkups and specifically for autism at 18- and 24-month well-child visits.
Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:
- no babbling or pointing by age 1
- no single words by age 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
- no response to name
- excessive lining up of toys or objects
- no smiling or social responsiveness
Later indicators include:
- impaired ability to make friends with peers
- impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
- absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
- repetitive or unusual use of language
- abnormally intense or focused interest
- preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
- inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
Recommended Reading: Is Dr Shaun Murphy Really Autistic
Family Members Of Autistic People Ask For Them To Be Prioritized In Covid
Autism stats by state uncover that family members and caregivers are trying to persuade states to prioritize people with developmental disorders in the vaccine rollouts. According to them, these people have been ignored for quite some time now. Little is understood about these developmental disorders by medical professionals, making both diagnostics and treatment even more difficult.
What Causes Autism: 6 Facts You Need To Know
There are lots of frightening rumors about what causes autism, a mysterious brain disorder, in children. We asked leading experts across the country to get you answers.
Nancy Wiseman had a feeling early on that something wasn’t quite right with her daughter. When Sarah was 6 months old, she stopped babbling, and by 10 months, she was silent. By 18 months, the increasingly aloof toddler no longer responded to her name, and she resisted being held, kissed, or touched. “I felt that I was losing my child a little more each day,” says Wiseman, of Merrimac, Massachusetts. When Sarah wasn’t saying any words or even making sounds that resembled words by 20 months, her grandmother, a school psychologist, suspected that the girl might actually be deaf. Instead, Wiseman was devastated to learn that her daughter had autism. “The diagnosis really knocked the wind out of me,” she recalls, “but I was relieved to finally know what was wrong.”
There are many unanswered questions,” says Alice Kau, Ph.D., an autism expert at the National Institutes of Health, which funded more than $74 million in autism research in 2002, as compared with only $22 million in 1997. Still, researchers are beginning to make progress in unraveling this baffling disorder, and the number of resources available for families is increasing. Here, six facts about autism that every parent should know.
You May Like: Printable Visual Aids For Autism
Zeroing In On The Genetics Of Autism
Some evidence that genetics plays a role in autism and ASD is provided by research on twins. According to the CDC, if one identical twin has autism, there’s a 75% chance the other twin will be affected, too. If a fraternal twin is affected, the other twin has a 3% chance of having autism.
Parents who give birth to a child with ASD have up to an 8% chance of having another child who is also affected, the CDC estimates.
Many U.S. couples have delayed childbearing, and the older ages of both the mother and the father have been linked with a higher risk of having children with ASD, according to a report in the journal Pediatrics. With age could come increased risk for genetic mutations or other genetic problems.
Specific genetic problems help explain only a small percentage of autism cases so far. “We know that major chromosomal abnormalities are identified in about 5% of ASD,” says Milunsky of Boston University. “We know that Fragile X syndrome is responsible for about 3%.” Fragile X syndrome, a family of genetic conditions, is the most common cause of inherited mental impairment, and also the most common known cause of autism or autism-like behaviors.
“Hot spots” of genetic instability may play a role, researchers say. For instance, a team of researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that duplications and deletions on a specific chromosome seem to be associated with some cases of autism.
But genetics is not the whole story, he and other experts say.
Autism Runs In Families With History Of Brain Conditions
by Nicholette Zeliadt;/;15 April 2019
Children in families with a history of brain conditions are at increased odds of being autistic, a large study in Sweden suggests1. The more closely related the family members with these conditions, the greater the childs chances of having autism.
Other studies have reported similar trends: A childs odds of having autism increase if she has a sibling with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or intellectual disability, or a parent with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety2,3,4.
The new study looked at family history of these conditions, as well as epilepsy and more than a dozen others, and included grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
In autism studies, scientists tend to focus on older siblings, but many people with autism dont have an older sibling with autism, says lead investigator Brian Lee, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Family history, in nearly every aspect of medicine, is an incredibly strong determinant of outcome.
Lee and his colleagues examined records from 10,920 children with autism and 556,516 typical children enrolled in the Stockholm Youth Cohort, an ongoing study of children born in that city. The researchers used national registries to identify the childrens more than 8 million relatives and those relatives diagnoses.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism