It was estimated in the year 2000 that signs of autism showed up once in every 150 kids. Today, that has grown to 1 in 88. That's according to the CDC, which adds it is also 5 times more common in boys.
The good news is, if autism is identified early, there are ways to intervene and improve the outlook for that child. The first clues can show up, even in infancy, if a child does not respond to his name, if there is poor eye contact, if there is no babbling or pointing by age one, no smiling or social interaction.
Dr. Richard Lampe, chairman of pediatrics at Texas Tech, says if you can spot the signs, and intervene with help early, you might be surprised at what a child with autism can accomplish.
"I'm sure that I've worked with physicians who had autism and they were very high functioning, they were brilliant, I would classify them as, it's not a medical term, they were a little quirky, sometimes they wouldn't look at you, they would perseverate talking about certain things, but they could remember things and still function, so just because that label, or that diagnosis is put on them, doesn't mean that you can't improve," says Dr. Lampe.
Dr. Lampe says the national library of medicine has a good website that can provide more good clues to spotting autism early including an explanation why researchers believe there is no link between autism and vaccines.
That website is www.nationalautismcenter.org
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