From FREE ASD BOOK ~ Know Autism – Know Your Child: with < My Thoughts > by Sara Luker; 2023. Please find on MENU www.sarasautismsite.com
UNIT 1 – How Will I Know (it’s autism)?
In 2023, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 36 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to 2020 data, boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2.
< My Thoughts > “ASD prevalence was higher among boys than girls…”
Any data is only as good as the population from which it is collected. Many ‘at-risk’ children in ‘marginal’ populations may not be identified as being ‘ASD’ until they reach school age; when the social and cognitive demands exceed their current abilities. Also, parents may hardly notice troubling deficits in social reciprocity; nor do they always recognize ‘sensory stress’ behaviors in their children. They just notice that ‘something’ seems to be wrong. Parents may believe that it’s their parenting, before they consider that their child is struggling with a disorder.
Whiffen (2009) shares concerns about her son – Finally home, I hurry to my computer. I place my fingers on the keyboard and type “AUTISM”. My pinky finger hangs over the Enter key, frozen. My fear has definition. I am afraid of what I might find.
That evening, I go to bed unable to sleep, I go back downstairs. I press the Enter key, I force myself to look at the “Autism Signs & Symptoms” checklist –
- Inappropriate laughing and giggling. CHECK!
- No real fear of danger. CHECK!
- Apparent insensitivity to pain. CHECK!
- May NOT want cuddling or act cuddly. CHECK!
- Little or no eye contact. CHECK!
- Difficulty expressing needs. CHECK!
- NOT responsive to verbal cues. CHECK!
- Sustains odd play. CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!
- Inappropriate attachment to objects. CHECK!
- Insistence on sameness; resists change in routine. CHECK!
My eyes filled with tears as I looked at this description of my son on the computer.
What can you do while you are waiting for the world of doctor’s appointments, consultations, complicated referral systems, and intervention program possibilities to open up to you?
It may be time to reiterate that ‘taking early action’ does not necessarily mean jumping into a program or therapy for your child. There are many reasons why this could be unwise, not only for your child, but for your family. Parents should always take time to think things through.
Whiffen, L. (2009). A Child’s Journey Out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure; eBook Edition.