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Autism actually is a spectrum of diseases, ranging from a milder form, called Asperger's syndrome, to the most severe form, true autism. Some studies have suggested that by one year of age there may be hints of autism spectrum disorder. The final diagnosis can only be made after careful and complete evaluation and examination by a team of experienced physicians and other health care providers expert in this disorder.
“Baby Doc” Eden Explains By Alvin N. Eden, MD Autism Autism is in the news fre- hints of autism spectrum disorder. In my experience, quently nowadays. News- I have not found this to be true. papers, televsion and the Internet are full of stories about autism; most of them Somewhere between 18 months and two years of age are unfounded. For example, there is no relationship there are usually a number of signs or symptoms that between the measles immunization (or any other im- should alert you to the possibility that your child may munization for that matter) and autism. A mercury be autistic. These “red flags” include the following: preservative, thimerosol, has been blamed for autism. 1. Not making eye contact Not so. Even though thimerosol was removed from rou- 2. Not taking any interest in other children tine immunizations many years ago, the prevalence of 3. Preferring to always play by himself autism remains the same. Despite many studies that 4. Repetitive motor mannerisms, such as rocking back clearly show no relationship between immunization and and forth or handflapping autism, many parents continue to worry and often are 5. Delayed language development (should be using hesitant to immunize their children. There is absolutely single words by age one and two-word phrases by no reason to be concerned. It is essential for your child age two) to receive all the recommended immunizations on time. 6. Intense temper tantrums Postponing or refusing immunizations makes no sense 7. Unable to cope with changes in regular routine and can place your child in danger. However, even if your toddler does demonstrate one or What causes autism? Can it be prevented? Can it be more of these behavior patterns, it does not mean that treated? Nervous parents often ask me these types of he is autistic. As pointed out previously, the diagnosis questions. is difficult to make and requires professional evalua- This is what I tell them. tion. The problem is that there is no specific diagnostic test to establish the diagn
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