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The Benefits of Detecting Early Childhood Autism

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Reed Havel

on 23 January 2015

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Transcript of The Benefits of Detecting Early Childhood Autism

By: Reed Havel
Benefits of Detecting Early Childhood Autism
Is autism curable?
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders including:
autistic disorder
Asperger's disorder
Rett syndrome
childhood disintegrative disorder
pervasive developmental delay
There is no cure for autism
Most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better
Treatments for autism vary depending on the needs of the individual. In general, treatments fall into three categories:

Between the ages of birth and five the brain brain is flexible and can open new pathways to cognitive and social skills.
About 1 in 88 children are identified with an ASD

ASDs are almost 4 times more common among boys than among girls

1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an ASD

Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability: 10 - 17 % annual growth

More than 50,000 in Ohio are affected by autism

Ohio is 10th state in total amount of residents with an ASD, and 27th per capita

Only 56% of students with autism finish high school

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is at 14%, compared with 9% for people without a disability
-Behavioral and communication therapy
-Medical and dietary therapy
-Complementary therapy
More and more children are being diagnosed by age 3 (currently 18%)
Reports from many parents state they first noted something amiss in their infant within the first year of life
Clinical abnormalities are detectable in children as young as 12 months of age, although a definitive diagnosis of autism for most children cannot be given until at least age 3
Brain overgrowth: 90% of children with autism started with small heads and by age 1 their head size was in the 85th percentile
Screening is useful for 18-36 month old children. Used in addition to a more in-depth assessment for autism. A screening consists of 9 yes or no questions for the parents and 5 interactions with the child.
Early Detection of Autism
What can be done
-There is little research on infants, so it is difficult to make
confident decision
-early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI), used in the late 1980s, showed promise with a 47% “recovery” rate for children
-Women may be able to reduce risk of having a child with autism by consuming folic acid during the months before and after conception

60% of federal spending go to adult services
Educating a child with autism costs $18,000 on average
The average medical cost for those with an ASD is $4,110–$6,200 (or 5 times) greater than those without an ASD per year
Intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASDs cost $40,000 to $60,000 per year
Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention
What Causes Autism?

Most cases of autism are caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development, such as:
- advanced parental age at time of conception
- maternal illness during pregnancy
- oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain during
-Autism Speaks
History of Autism
The term "autism" was first used by Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, used the term to refer to schizophrenic people who were removed from social interaction


Leo Kanner, a doctor from Johns Hopkins University, used the word to describe the withdrawn behavior in the children he studied.
Hans Asperger, a scientist in Germany, identified a similar condition that's now called Asperger’s syndrome.

Autism and schizophrenia were finally considered separate conditions
Treatments for autism included LSD, electric shock, and

techniques involving pain and punishment


Behavioral therapy and controlled learning environments became more common forms of treatment for autism and related conditions.


Behavioral therapy and other treatments are more widely used
Genetic abnormalities such as:

and metabolic conditions such as:

contribute to the causation of autism
-fragile X syndrome
-tuberous sclerosis,
-Down syndrome
-CHARGE syndrome

-organic acidurias
Symptoms can be very different in different individuals:
-Abnormal social relationships
-Abnormal communication
-Unusual (often repetitive) behaviors
EDUCATE: parents and all adults
should be educated on the subject
Full transcript