autism spectrum disorder, you unfortunately have become part of an alarming statistic in the United States. One of every 88 children born in the country is ultimately diagnosed with this condition, and that’s more than double the rate of diagnosis from approximately 10 years ago. No one is yet sure why this rate is skyrocketing in such a way, but researchers are working on ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of autism in hopes of providing several benefits to those who are forced to live with this challenge.
Recent research has identified the idea that the earlier someone is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, the better off that child will be because he or she can begin to receive treatments and other forms of help immediately. This help can provide a child with benefits as he or she grows a bit older. Unfortunately, early diagnosis of autism has become increasingly difficult as the rate of diagnosis has gone up in recent years. According to a recent study, one of the problems associated with this diagnosis is tied to the specific symptoms that are displayed.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently completed a study that reviewed the different ages at which children were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and then compared those ages to the symptoms that they displayed. Of the 2,700 children that were studied, those who showed only 7 of the 12 recognized symptoms were diagnosed an average of four years later than the children who displayed all 12.
The presence of specific symptoms also played a role in when children were diagnosed. Those who showed signs of inflexibility with their routines, difficulty with imaginary game play and an inability to engage in non-verbal communication were more prone to be diagnosed early. Children who displayed problems interacting with peers were generally diagnosed later, which makes some sense considering the notion that many children do not start spending significant amounts of time with others their age until they have reached approximately 2 or 3 years old.
Perhaps the most daunting statistic that the study uncovered was that while children can be diagnosed with autism with some degree of certainty by the time they are 2 years old, fewer than half are actually diagnosed by the time they reach the age of 5. Those few years may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but if that time is spent working with specialists the benefits for that child and for the rest of the family can be enormous.
The New York medical malpractice attorneys at The Fitzgerald Law Firm, PC have represented many families over the past 40-plus years whose children have been diagnosed with autism because of mistakes that were made during birth. Many of those children have been helped tremendously by early intervention. If you suspect that your child may have a problem, act on those instincts and seek a full medical evaluation as soon as possible. It is better for everyone to know now what you’re up against so that you can take positive forward steps as soon as possible.