If you’ve found your way here, you’re probably looking for information about autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), which currently affect 1 in 110 children. Maybe you’re worried that your baby or a child you’re close to has symptoms of an ASD, or perhaps your child just received a diagnosis, and you’re in need of both information and support.
The good news is we know more about autism now than ever, it’s discussed more openly than ever before, and there are a host of resources available to families with children on the autism spectrum. In this guide, you’ll find facts about the causes and symptoms of ASDs, as well as tips on getting an autism diagnosis, starting early intervention treatment, managing your life as the parent of an autism-spectrum child, and finding community.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s inside:
What’s the difference between autism and Asperger’s syndrome? How about PDD-NOS? The term “autism” can refer to a whole range of developmental disabilities with varying degrees of symptoms – here’s how to distinguish between them.
With the number of ASD diagnoses rising each year, many parents are eager to find the cause of these disorders. Unfortunately, researchers have been unable to pinpoint the exact origins of ASDs, although studies point to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. We separate fact from fiction regarding the possible causes of autism, from genes to vaccines and more.
How early can babies be screened for autism? What are some warning signs of a developmental disorder? We discuss the rising diagnosis rate along with common indicators of communication and social delays – and what to do when you see them in another parent’s child.
Most experts recommend starting treatment as soon as possible to ensure positive progress and a more independent future for your child. Find out what treatments are available for your child and where to access them. When it comes time for kindergarten and beyond, find out what schooling options are available and how to choose the best educational environment for your child.
A diagnosis of a PDD or other autism-spectrum disorder will inevitably throw your family for a major loop, but it helps to know that you don’t have to face what one of our favorite dad bloggers calls “the monster” alone. There are ways to make living with autism easier. And from Facebook to nationwide charity walks, there are an unending number of ways to connect with other families dealing with autism and give back to the community.