HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – April is Autism Acceptance Month, a time to promote acceptance, celebrate differences and be more inclusive for people with autism. The month was started by the Autism Society in 1972.
In 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1 in 44 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Boys are about 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
Dr. Megan Crisler is a Clinical Director and Registered Clinical Psychologist at Silver Linings Neurodevelopment. Silver Linings is a clinic that focuses on mental and behavioral health differences in children and adults.
Dr Crisler described autism as “one way the brain develops and it’s just a different view of the social world”.
As for the tests, Dr. Crisler told News 19 that they were looking for a few main symptoms. “’There are two key symptoms we’re looking for. We look at how this person communicates with the social world, but we also look at repetitive behaviors, sensory interests, and sensory sensitivities. »
Most parents notice the first signs between 12 and 18 months. Dr. Crisler explained some of those early signs to News 19.
“It might be the language, maybe it’s, you know, they seem to have the same expression on their face all the time,” Dr. Crisler explained. “We don’t see them being exceptionally happy or angry, it’s usually just a flat expression. With their eye contact, they might not be looking at you as much. They might not be as interested in doing things like to say hello than many babies.
When it comes to these signs, Dr. Crisler emphasizes the importance of getting tested early, as early intervention can improve learning, communication, and social skills.
She also told News 19 that it’s never a bad idea to get your child tested if you notice any signs.
“There is absolutely no harm in making these assessments. I love when we test the kids and tell a family that everything is fine because at least we checked,” Dr. Crisler explained.
For more information on Early Signs and Silver Linings Clinic, you can visit their website.
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