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Video:Your Toddler's Autism Risk

with Dr. Danelle Fisher

Autism is very prevalent in toddlers and displays itself in a variety of ways. Learn about your toddler's autism risk and what to do if they are diagnosed in this pediatrics video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:Your Toddler's Autism Risk

Hi I'm Dr. Danelle Fisher, Board Certified Pediatrician with www.WestchesterPeds.com and I'm here today for About.com to talk to you about your toddler's autism risk.

Signs of Autism in a Toddler

Let's talk a little bit about autism: the signs and symptoms of autism, how to make a diagnosis, and how to treat autism. Autism is a disorder of language skills, social skills and behavior. There is a wide variation in the expression of the disorder, so it has been termed Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD.

Children with ASD may be verbal or non-verbal. Some will have problems with eye contact and social interaction. They may have difficulty holding a conversation or understanding the emotions of other people. Some will also show repetitive behaviors including hand-flapping, head-banging, or repetitive or even obsessive play with toys. Affected children will have difficulty functioning normally in all settings, including at home and in school.

Prevalance of Autism in Chidlren

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the overall prevalence of ASD in the US is estimated to be as high as one in 88. Again, some children may be only mildly affected whereas others are lower functioning and have a more severe form of ASD.

What to Do if Your Child Has Autism

So what can you do if your child has autism? Early intervention is the key to helping the child with communication and social skills as well as help with motor movements and play. These therapies may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and infant stimulation. Some people have used complementary and alternative medicines and different dietary approaches to treat children with autism.

There are many sources of information available online if this feels right for your family. Children with autism are being diagnosed more often now than ever. If your child is showing early signs of autism or if you have a concern, talk with your pediatrician. Once a diagnosis is made, therapy can begin so that your child can reach his or her utmost potential.

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