Just last Thursday The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, released a Nation-wide #APB in regards to the rising number of Autism Spectrum Disorder cases being diagnosed in The United States. As we prepare to light the world BLUE for #WorldAutismAwarenessDay on Wednesday April 2nd, we are now faced with an unparalleled battle, which has yet to be won.
The report makes a grave note to effort, that more justice needs must be met for these children and their families who have been left in the dark sans answers to ASD. You see, in order to identify children with autism sooner we must advocate for early detection, since there is no cure for Autism and early identification is the most powerful tool available to families, we really don’t have another choice!
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children (or 14.7 per 1,000 eight-year-olds) in multiple communities in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This new estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than previous estimates reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children (11.3 per 1,000 eight year olds) being identified with an autism spectrum disorder… The data continue to show that ASD is almost five times more common among boys than girls: 1 in 42 boys versus 1 in 189 girls.” –The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Two notable facets of the new study that caught my attention, bring to light how the number of children identified with ASD has extraordinary statistical range across the US. From the Continental American South, in a state like Alabama where just 1 in 175 children have been diagnosed with ASD to the astronomical uptake in the North East, where 1 in 45 children in New Jersey have been noted as having ASD. A second interesting fact is that White children are more likely to be identified as having ASD than their Black or even Hispanic counterparts. Questions that are still anxiously awaiting answers…
If you have concerns about your child’s development, log onto The CDC’s ‘Learn the Signs. Act Early‘ campaign. This link helps guide parents who are facing the developmental challenges of their children and advocates behavioral screenings in helping to identify delays as early as possible (children can be diagnosed with ASD as early as 2 years of age).
Although there is presently no medical test that can diagnose Autism, behavioral evaluations have been the compass for physicians and families alike. When a child is showing unusual behaviors such as: failing to make eye contact, not responding to their name or playing with toys in an unusual repetitive way, avoiding smiles & joyful expressions, loss of: speech, babbling or social skills at any age- these can all be signs to seek further assistance from a medical professional. If you have a baby and are concerned about their behavior, not knowing if you are simply being a paranoid new parent or have reason to seek further assistance… here are a few of the tell- tale signs: A Baby that lacks back-and-forth gestures such as: pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months; If your Baby has yet to speak any words by 16 months OR if by 24 months the Baby has yet to conduct meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating)!
As Generation X and Y, we are now facing that stage in our lives where reproducing is simply a grand part of the equation and there is no greater fear that not being able to help or heal your baby from any and all ailments they may face. So let us take on this battle as the strong generation we are and make change, let us stand together this month and show the world that we can and will find a way to treat #ASD !