Even if you personally don’t know someone who has autism, it is important to be aware of this condition and its prevalence. About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM). The Autism Society emphasizes the cruciality of understanding the symptoms and causes of autism so that we might all work together to “improve the lives of all affected by autism.”
At the end of this month, take the time to learn about this prevalent condition, or brush up on your knowledge if you already know about it.
What Causes Autism?
Generally, it is accepted that autism is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. In many families, there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities, associating a genetic base with the disorder. As of today, no singular gene has been identified as causing autism, but researchers are looking for irregular segments of genetic code that children with autism may have inherited.
Other researchers are looking into problems during pregnancy or delivery and environmental factors, like viral infections, metabolic imbalances, and exposure to environmental chemicals.
What are Common Symptoms of Autism?
A brief observation conducted by a psychologist, educator, and/or medical professional can present a true picture of a person’s abilities and behaviors. But if a child displays the following symptoms of autism from anywhere between 24 months to 6 years, it is important to see a professional to determine whether or not it actually is autism:
- Does not babble or coo by 12 months
- Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
- Does not say single words by 16 months
- Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
- Has any loss of any language or social skills at any age
- Little or no eye contact
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
How can CladeHealth Tracker Help?
According to the Autism Society, the estimated lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million. That financial pressure can put a lot of stress on families. A personal health record like CladeHealth Tracker can really help to organize a family’s medical information and provide them with one, easy-to-use location to access all health information for all members of the family. Imagine having one location to look for all relevant health information, and having that piece of technology on hand 24/7! These days people have their cell phones glued to their hands. With your medical information safely stored in the CladeHealth Tracker mobile application on your cell phone, your personal health information will be glued to your hand as well.