Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.
There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis, and access to appropriate services lead to improved outcomes.
April is National Autism Awareness Month, be sure to learn the signs and help promote autism awareness.
SIGNS OF AUTISM?
One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism:
- By 6 months:
- Few or no big smiles or other warm, joyful and engaging expressions
- Limited or no eye contact
- By 9 months:
- Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions
- By 12 months:
- Little or no babbling
- Little or no back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving
- Little or no response to name
- Any age:
- Delayed learning of language
- Difficulty holding a conversation
- Poor motor skills
- Repetitive actions or routines
- Difficulty accepting change
- Not understanding how to play or socially interact with others
- Challenging behaviors involving sudden mood swings or aggression
- Hypersensitivity to sounds or textures
- Problems with eating and sleeping
- Difficulty understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings
CHC invites YOU to help raise awareness by sharing our Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources, which provides access to autism tool kits, employment information, advocacy opportunities, support groups, and more.