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A 2006 study from Johns Hopkins found that only 8% of primary care pediatricians routinely screened children for autism. Lack of familiarity with the screening tools was the primary reason.
If you pediatrician isn’t seeing what you see, don’t wait for them to come around. If your child is under three contact your state’s early childhood intervention program and ask for an evaluation. You can also visit a developmental pediatrician or clinical psychologist trained in diagnosing ASD. For some children, symptoms improve with treatment and with age. Children whose language skills regress early in life- before the age of three- appear to have a higher than normal risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity.
During adolescence, some children with ASD may become depressed and experience behavioral problems, and their treatment may need some modification as they transition into adulthood. People with ASD usually continue to need services and supports as they get older, but some are able to work successfully and live independently or within a supportive environment.
The mainstream medical arena states that there is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of individual children. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
However, there is hope in the breakthroughs that are made everyday.