Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be difficult to diagnose, as many children are not diagnosed until they are older than three. However, early detection and treatment of ASD can dramatically improve the lives of affected children and their families. Sometimes ASD can be detected as early as 18 months of age, and a diagnosis made by an experienced professional can be considered reliable at two years old. Parents may not be aware of the early signs of autism, which usually appear between the ages of 12 and 18 months.
These signs may include lack of eye contact or response to the parents' smile or other facial expressions. If signs are detected at 18 months of age, intensive treatment can help reconfigure the brain and reverse symptoms. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal screening for autism around age two. However, if you have ASD, it is important to visit an evidence-based autism treatment center that can help you and your child build a better life together.
While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorders, early intervention services can take full advantage of the remarkable plasticity of the young brain. Many doctors don't diagnose a child with autism before age 30 months, but they will be able to use screening techniques to determine when there is a group of symptoms associated with autism. Autism Speaks Ad Council's multi-year public service advertising campaign highlights the importance of recognizing early signs of autism and seeking early intervention services. With early detection and treatment, children with ASD can lead fulfilling lives.