Saturday, March 04, 2006

Clinic Notes: Preventing Autism

I'm just like any other parent or grandparent. I worry about autism. When I see my grand babies staring at lights or fans I immediately re-direct them. I have been relieved to note that they were not rigid when picked up and they never banged their heads against the side of the crib. One had a slight language delay and the pediatrician suggested a possibility of autism, which scared my daughter, but fortunately, turned out to be a false alarm.
There are other early signs of autism, such as being a younger sibling of a child with autism. The concordance rate for identical twins is 60%, fraternal twins 4.5%, and non-twin siblings 4.5%.
What should a caregivers do if their child shows early signs of autism? Can autism be prevented with early intervention? Next week on my web site I will post a discussion of some recent research.

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