What To Do If Youre Worried
If your child is developmentally delayed, or if youve observed other red flags for autism, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician right away. In fact, its a good idea to have your child screened by a doctor even if he or she is hitting the developmental milestones on schedule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive routine developmental screenings, as well as specific screenings for autism at 9, 18, and 30 months of age.
Schedule an autism screening. A number of specialized screening tools have been developed to identify children at risk for autism. Most of these screening tools are quick and straightforward, consisting of yes-or-no questions or a checklist of symptoms. Your pediatrician should also get your feedback regarding your childs behavior.
Starting Prenatal Vitamins Even Before Pregnancy May Cut Risk
High-risk younger siblings of children with autism are less likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder , have significantly lower autism symptom severity, and higher cognitive scores if their mothers take maternal prenatal vitamins during their first month of pregnancy, UC Davis research has found.
The study appearing today in JAMA Psychiatry reports for the first time that maternal prenatal vitamin supplementation use near conception is associated with decreased autism risk in subsequent siblings of children with ASD.
Autism is a growing concern, with one in every 59 children affected in the U.S. Younger siblings of children with ASD are about 13 times more likely to develop the disorder than the general population, with a recurrence risk of nearly one in five.
The study findings could be important for families who have children with autism and are planning new pregnancies. If replicated, the study results imply that genetic susceptibility could potentially be overcome by taking prenatal multivitamins.
Where Does Autism Gene Come From
Researchers have known that genes contribute to autism since the 1970s, when a team found that identical twins often share the condition. Since then, scientists have been racking up potential genetic culprits in autism, a process that DNA-decoding technologies have accelerated in the past decade…. continue reading
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Extra Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Avoiding too much extra weight while pregnant is a factor you might be able to control.
According to a 2020 abstract , excess gestational weight gain may contribute to autism in offspring.
The study found that low GWG didnt have the same effect, and the prepregnancy BMI of the mothers didnt seem to influence outcomes. It was only the weight gained during pregnancy that made the difference.
The old saying eating for two may prompt you to eat more than 300 extra calories per day required during pregnancy.
Instead, you can try:
Assessing the chance of autism for your unborn child may be possible.
According to a 2015 study , prenatal genetic testing is available in the US through clinical genetic services. This test looks for ASD susceptibility genes and measures ASD risk only. Babies with these genes may or may not develop autism.
A doctor specializing in maternal-fetal medicine, such as an obstetrician/gynecologist, performs fetal genetic testing using amniocentesis between 16 to 20 weeks gestation.
Placenta shape may also be an identifying factor, as indicated in a 2018 study of unborn younger siblings of autistic children. The ASD siblings had slightly thicker placentas that were rounder with more regular perimeters than placentas measured from the general population.
A trained technician can examine your placenta using an ultrasound. This safe and noninvasive technology uses sound waves to generate a computer image that the tech can measure.
Does Autism Start Suddenly
A child appears to show normal social, emotional, and language development, and then loses their speech and social skills for no discernible reason. This usually develops between 15 and 30 months of age. It can take place very suddenly or gradually. The child usually struggles to regain the skills that they have lost…. see more
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Disorders Of Amino Acid Metabolism
Epigenetic mechanisms may increase the risk of autism. Epigenetic changes occur as a result not of DNA sequence changes but of chromosomal histone modification or modification of the DNA bases. Such modifications are known to be affected by environmental factors, including nutrition, drugs, and mental stress. Interest has been expressed in imprinted regions on chromosomes 15q and 7q.
Most data supports a polygenic, epistatic model, meaning that the disorder is caused by two or more genes and that those genes are interacting in a complex manner. Several genes, between two and fifteen in number, have been identified and could potentially contribute to disease susceptibility. However, an exact determination of the cause of ASD has yet to be discovered and there probably is not one single genetic cause of any particular set of disorders, leading many researchers to believe that epigenetic mechanisms, such as genomic imprinting or epimutations, may play a major role.
An important basis for ASD causation is also the over- or underproduction of brain permanent cells by the neural precursor cells during fetal development.
How To Prevent Autism In Babies During Pregnancy
Autism is manifested in the form of restricted and repetitive behavior, which results in impaired communication and affects social interaction. The symptoms of autism are manifested during the first three years of life. Autism research institute has conducted some important research in the domain which has indicated that certain modifications in diet and lifestyle practice during pregnancy can help prevent the development of autism in the child.
What Causes Autistic Children To Be Aggressive
Autistic children may behave aggressively or hurt themselves in response to the following symptoms: they are unable to understand what other people are saying or communicating in the same way that they do verbally. They are unable to communicate their own desires and needs. A lot of them are extremely anxious and stressed.
It is very common for families to struggle with the behavior of children with autism spectrum disorders . It is not uncommon for children on the autism spectrum to exhibit aggression, but the factors that typically link aggression in a typical child are not the same as those that typically link aggression in children with autism spectrum disorders. Families may be unable to attend events at home due to their fear of aggressive incidents, which may result in an increase in isolation and a decrease in quality of life. Families with autistic children frequently struggle with aggressive behaviors. Kanne and colleagues examined 1,380 aggressive behaviors among children aged four to seventeen. According to the researchers, 56 percent of caregivers engaged in aggressive behavior toward them, while 32 percent engaged in similar behaviors toward non- caregivers. It is also true that ASD affects girls and boys at the same rate.
A Bit Of A Holy Grail In Child Health
The international research team, which included WAs Child and Adolescent Health Service, La Trobe University, University, the University of Western Australia and the University of Manchester, was led by Telethon Kids Institute Professor Andrew Whitehouse, who described the findings as a true breakthrough moment.
This is a bit of a holy grail in the area of child health, Professor Whitehouse said.
What we have found is providing a new clinical model, identifying children as early as possible in life, providing supportive intervention to help them be who they want to be, we can actually reduce the clinical criteria for autism by two-thirds.
The potential for what this means for our society is quite staggering.
When we think about 53 per cent of all children within the NDIS have a diagnosis of autism, we start to understand how significant this finding could be.
Typically children are diagnosed with autism at about the age of three, which is when therapies usually start.
Professor Whitehouse said this meant nothing was happening in the first couple of years after a childs birth when the brain was developing rapidly and therapies may have more effect.
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Tips For Assisting Your Autistic Child
Autism spectrum disorder is a chronic ailment that affects a persons whole life. Many resources, focusing on ABA treatment, are available to assist the individual from infancy through maturity.
When your kid is diagnosed with autism spectrum condition, follow these five actions to help them:
The goal of ABA treatment and associated interventions is to assist your kid become as self-sufficient and joyful as possible.
Should I Worry About Autism
Late or idiosyncratic speech, social awkwardness, over or under-reaction to light, sound, or smell, ora compelling need for routine or sameness. Each of these are symptoms of autism, but none of them alone is a true red flag. When several of these symptoms combine, however, it may be time for greater concern…. read more
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What Is Hand Flapping Autism
When a person with autism engages in self-stimulatory behaviors such as rocking, pacing, aligning or spinning objects, or hand flapping, people around him may be confused, offended, or even frightened. Also known as stimming, these behaviors are often characterized by rigid, repetitive movements and/or vocal sounds.
Maternal Vitamin D Deficiency And Impact On The Offspring
Maternal VD deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of ASD development in infants. The evidence for an elevated prevalence of ASD among children born to mothers with a putative reduction in VD skin synthesis during pregnancy has classically been considered evidence that hypovitaminosis D and ASD development are strictly related . Babies conceived in winter months and those born to dark-skinned women who had immigrated to high-latitude countries were more frequently diagnosed with ASD than those conceived in summer months and those born to light-skinned migrants, respectively . However, the results of these studies remain inconclusive for several reasons and recent studies did not seem to associate season of birth and ASD .
Other studies with highly debatable conclusions include the studies that have tried to demonstrate a link between the VD status of pregnant women and the neuropsychiatric development of their infants. Magnusson et al. , using a register-based total population study , studied the association between ASD with and without intellectual disability and lifetime diagnoses of maternal VD deficiency. The offsprings risk of ASD with, but not without, intellectual disability was found to be associated with reduced VD concentrations . However, the trends in ASD prevalence in USA are not related to trends in serum 25D3 level, which are little changed compared to changes in ASD prevalence .
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Signs Of Nonverbal Communication Difficulties
- Avoids eye contact.
- Uses facial expressions that dont match what they are saying
- Doesnt pick up on other peoples facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures.
- Makes very few gestures . May come across as cold or robot-like.
- Reacts unusually to sights, smells, textures, and sounds. May be especially sensitive to loud noises. Can also be unresponsive to people entering/leaving, as well as efforts by others to attract the childs attention.
- Atypical posture, clumsiness, or eccentric ways of moving .
Children with autism spectrum disorder have trouble picking up on subtle nonverbal cues and using body language. This makes the give-and-take of social interaction very difficult.
Collection Storage Of Blood Serum Samples
The serum samples used in this study were obtained from the Northern Sweden Maternity Cohort founded in 1975 . The serum samples were routinely collected for testing of systemic infections and rubella IgG antibody titers at the first midwife visit at one of the more than 30 primary health care centers in VÃ¤sterbotten County. The time point of the first visit is at the discretion of the patients and occurs in most cases between weeks 7 and 18 centering around week 14 . As we did not have access to the exact gestational age at blood sampling, we assigned all patients to week 14 . Samples were exposed to room temperature and initial storage in refrigerators at 4 Â°C at the primary care centers for variable periods and periodically shipped, frozen, to a central repository at UmeÃ¥ University Hospital, where they are analyzed and the leftovers were stored at 20 Â°C .
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Some People Use Other Names For Autism
There are other names for autism used by some people, such as:
- autism spectrum disorder the medical name for autism
- autism spectrum condition used instead of ASD by some people
- Asperger’s used by some people to describe autistic people with average or above average intelligence
Unlike some people with autism, people with Asperger’s do not have a learning disability.
Some people call this “high-functioning” autism.
Doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger’s anymore.
But if you were diagnosed with it before, this will stay as your diagnosis.
What Is The Biggest Risk Factor For Autism
Risk factors Your childs sex. Boys are about four times more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder than girls are. Family history. Families who have one child with autism spectrum disorder have an increased risk of having another child with the disorder. Other disorders. Extremely preterm babies. Parents ages.
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Exposure To Contaminants During Pregnancy
Exposure to contaminants like certain pesticides or air pollution while pregnant may increase the chance that your child may be born autistic. The contaminants themselves dont cause autism but instead trigger changes in genetically inclined babies.
A 2022 study found a link between autism diagnoses and pollution exposure during pregnancy. The study examined exposures to particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone.
Researchers found no association between autism and nitrogen dioxide and mixed results for ozone. But the study data indicated an association between autism and exposure to particulate matter pollution in the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to particulate matter pollution during pregnancy:
- use a home air purifier
- grow air purifying plants
- monitor the Air Quality Index for your location
- stay indoors when the AQI readings arent green
You Can And Should Tap Into Informational And Advocacy Resources
There are a number of organizations that make it their business to inform people who ask about services. The challenge, of course, is to ask the right questions of the right people at the right time. Depending on where youre located, you can read publications, speak to advisors, attend conferences, or tap into webinars presented by such organizations as:
Armed with the information about whats available, you can start to put your ducks in a row so youre ready for the transition when they turn 22.
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Anger And Aggression In Autism: What You Can Do To Help
Because of autism, children can become angry and aggressive when they are frustrated or overwhelmed. As a result, daily activities can be difficult, and social isolation and anxiety can develop. Anger and aggression are common characteristics among people with autism spectrum disorders, and they can be a sign that more serious problems are being overlooked. The best way to treat children with autism is to respect and kindness, and it is critical to remember that they are still humans. If your child is becoming more aggressive and angry, you should talk to them about what theyre feeling and see if there are any ways you can help them manage their emotions. Children with autism frequently engage in aggression, such as striking, kicking, scratching, biting, and destroying property.
Early Baby Therapy Could Reduce Autism Diagnoses
Training parents how to respond to babies showing early signs of autism could reduce by two-thirds the number of three-year-olds meeting the criteria for diagnosis, a small study suggests.
Improvement on this scale has never been shown before, the UK and Australian researchers say.
The first two years are critical for brain development but most autism diagnoses are made at the age of three.
Longer-term research on more children is needed to see if the effects last.
This study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, followed 103 nine- to 14-month-olds, in Melbourne and Perth, with early signs of autism.
Over five months, the parents of about half of them were taught to:
- interact with their baby even if there was no eye contact
- play with them in a sensitive way that helped their development
And at the age of three, while they still had developmental difficulties, their social engagement had improved, they had fewer sensory issues and repetitive behaviours and only 7% met the criteria for a diagnosis of autism.
This compared with 20% of the other children given standard care.
Prof Jonathan Green, from the University of Manchester, who designed the video-based programme used in the trial, said: Many therapies for autism have tried previously to replace developmental differences with more typical behaviours.
In contrast, this works with each childs unique differences and creates a social environment around the child that helps them learn in a way that was best for them.
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Does Maternal Weight Affect A Child’s Autism Risk
Research from the University of Utah published in the November 2013 issue of Pediatrics suggests a potential link between excess pregnancy pounds and autism risk. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women gain no more than 35 pounds during pregnancy . In the study, incremental 5-pound increases in weight above ACOG’s recommendation were linked to a slightly higher, yet significant risk for autism.
Previous studies indicate a possible connection to a woman’s pre-pregnancy body mass index , pregnancy weight gain, and a child’s risk of autism. One theory is that excess body fat may change a woman’s hormone levels or cause inflammation that affects fetal brain development. “Obesity rates and autism rates have both gone up over the past decades, yet that doesn’t mean the two are connected,” says Anna Maria Wilms Floet, M.D., a behavioral developmental pediatrician at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Baltimore. The bottom line: “Women should watch their weight gain during pregnancy to prevent problems like diabetes and high blood pressure,” says Dr. Wilms Floet.