The Autism Society has been observing National Autism Awareness Month since 1970. The purpose of this national campaign has been to educate the public about autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the clinical term for autism, is defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as, “a group of complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction.”
The National Autism Association lists some of the signs of ASD as: “social impairments, cognitive impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive behaviors.” The disorder can be from mild to severe and doesn’t discriminate across ethnicities nor socioeconomic lines. However, males are four times likely to develop ASD than females. Regressive autism occurs when a child appears to develop at a normal pace until around fifteen to thirty months then begin to lose speech and social skills.
Some early signs of ASD might be:
- The child does not respond to his/her name
- Avoids eye contact
- Wants to be alone
- Has no speech or delayed speech
- Gives unrelated answers to questions
- Has low to no social skills
- Demonstrates little safety or danger awareness
- Has obsessive interests
If your child exhibits any of those signs, and you are concerned about autism, speak with your pediatrician immediately and seek early intervention services. You can also consult a healthcare professional by walking-in or scheduling an appointment at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, visiting our website at www.primarymed.com, calling (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.