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Recognizing the early signs of autism in children

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BATON ROUGE - Dr. Mindy Calandro, a pediatrician at The Baton Rouge Clinic, visited the station Thursday afternoon to discuss the signs, symptoms and statistics that accompany Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children.

From a statistical standpoint, 1 in 68 child have the disorder and ASD is five times more common in boys when compared to girls. Research continues to unravel the facts surrounding autism, but studies have tied the disorder to a genetic component as well as environmental factors. Many of these contributors to ASD occur in the child prior to birth. Dr. Mindy Calandro says the idea that vaccines cause autism is not true, according to extensive studies.

During her visit, the pediatrician listed some "red flags" that parents should keep an eye out for when trying to determine if their children have ASD, which usually makes itself apparent in the early years of life. Common signs and symptoms of the disorder in children include:

  • No eye contact, smiling or expression of emotion by six months of age
  • No spoken words by 16 months of age
  • Not pointing at things or looking at things others point out
  • No showing of objects to parents
  • No expressions of emotion

Awareness and diagnosis of autism have been improving in recent years, and research into the disorder is advancing every year. Much of what we know about what causes autism has only been revealed within the past five years.

Dr. Mindy Calandro says it is important to monitor your children's development closely, and increasingly accurate screening tools are becoming common every year. The pediatrician advises that your own attentiveness and regular visits to the proper medical professionals during your child's early life are also key.



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