What is Autism?

Autism is a neurological development disorder that affects three main areas of the brain:

  • Social Interaction
  • Communication
  • Sensory

Cognitive and intellectual abilities can vary from mentally disabled to above average intelligence and savant. Those with autism are neither all gifted nor all mentally impaired.

Autism - Social/Communication Red Flags

If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate evaluation:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing,reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 monthsNo two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age

Signs of Asperger Syndrome:

  • Difficulty making friends
  • Difficulty with non-verbal social cues, such as facial expressions
  • No understanding that others may have thoughts or feelings different from his or her own
  • Obsessive focus on a narrow subject
  • Awkward motor skills
  • Inflexibility about routines
  • Unusual patterns of speech
  • Stereotyped or repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, or activities

Can also have low muscle tone, gastrointestinal problems and anxiety.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development, consult a physician as soon as possible.

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Helpful Links

  • autism.com
    Up to date information and latest buzz in autism world
  • autismnow.org
    A wonderful resource for webinars, many of them are free!
  • autismspeaks.org
    Offers a broad spectrum of information on autism
  • thinkingautismguide.com
    Daily articles on various topics from individuals on spectrum and experts
  • fhautism.com
    A group that offers conferences, resources and updated information

Board of Directors

  • Tom Gangel, Board Chair
  • Susan Mizen, Secretary
  • LuEtta Loeber, Treasurer
  • Holly Nelson, Fund Development
  • Steve Ivanci
  • Christine McKelvie
  • Jack Dysart

Autism News from Medical News Today

Previously reported autism risk appears to be attributable to mother's prenatal antidepression, not medication

Previous studies that have suggested an increased risk of autism among children of women who took antidepressants during pregnancy may actually reflect the known increased risk associated with severe...

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