One of the many challenges faced by parents of a child with autism is that it’s often not diagnosed until a child is well past certain developmental milestones and developmental delays are noticed. It’s often at this point that parents will take their children to a medical professional for testing, and if a diagnosis of autism comes later in development it can lead to additional difficulties once intervention convenes. In short, the earlier a child is diagnosed with autism, the better off he or she will likely be as that child grows older.
One of the common problems faced by autistic children involves their ability to develop language skills and to communicate with others. Approximately 20 percent of children with autism cannot speak at all, and many others can speak but not necessarily communicate in a clear manner. This only makes the overall situation more difficult for parents who are generally working tirelessly to make that child’s life as comfortable and as happy as possible. Unfortunately, the development of speech tends to come later in a child’s initial development, meaning that it can be difficult for a child with this problem to ever overcome it.
However, researchers at the University of North Carolina have recently completed a study that could provide parents with the opportunity to diagnose potential language development problems much earlier in life than they are currently. The study involved children who were diagnosed with autism and it tested their ability to respond to words in their brains that were spoken to them. The researchers found that children who responded to words in a manner similar to children who do not have autism tended to avoid problems with language development. However, those who did not respond typically wound up struggling with this skill.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of this study was that the researchers were able to diagnose this problem when the children were as young as two years old. What this could mean in the future is that if these tests become common, intervention could begin at a much earlier age. Early intervention, according to just about every autism expert, can make an enormous difference with regards to autistic children’s ability to communicate with others.
Clearly, the ability to communicate can make a world of difference for anyone with autism, as it will provide them with the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of their surroundings. Hopefully this study leads to the formulation of a test or tests that allow for this type of early diagnosis on a larger scale, as it would make the lives of those affected by autism much easier.
We have been serving families as New York medical malpractice lawyers for more than 40 years, and we have seen the difficulties that autism presents. These situations are even more difficult when this diagnosis is the result of a mistake made during a child’s birth. If this has happened to your child, contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.