Important New Autism Guidelines

Everything you need to know about autism and your child

More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released new guidelines for identifying and treating autism in the hopes that children will be diagnosed earlier and treatment can begin when brains are more immature and adaptable. Pediatricians are also recommending that all children be screened for autism twice by two years of age, even if parents have no reason to believe their child may be autistic. Read on for more information.

 

Diagnosis
The statistics are alarming: One in every 150 children is diagnosed with autism, and every single day 67 more children are diagnosed. Even more upsetting, doctors don't know what causes autism, and there is no cure. What doctors do know is that the earlier a child is diagnosed, the more likely he is to respond well to treatment. Get the facts:

Autism 101 >>
Early symptoms >>
Diagnosis methods >>

 

Treatment
Because so much is unknown about autism, both doctors and parents continue to struggle with treatment options. Determining which therapies, medications and education programs are right for your child after an autism diagnosis is an overwhelming and consuming task; there is a lot that both you and your child need to learn. Find out more:

Treatment guide >>
Behavior patterns in autistic children >>
Questions to ask your child's doctor >>

 

Support
Having the support of your friends, family and community is vital when autism becomes a part of you and your child's life. But establishing a support network of other parents whose children have autism is just as valuable. They know what you're going through and understand the possible challenges (and triumphs) ahead. The Internet is a wonderful resource for connecting with people near and far in similar situations. Find other families living with autism in the iVillage community:

Join other parents for autism advice and support >>
Learn more about PDD-NOS and Asperger's syndrome >>
Vaccination Debate board: Share your perspective >>


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