April is autism awareness month. This is a disorder that is often in the news, but unfortunately there is still a lot of misinformation out there. Thankfully, we know more about treatment than we did 25 years ago when I first began to work as a speech-language pathologist. We are often the first to suggest to parents that they should see other professionals who can diagnose this disorder. My heart goes out to parents when they hear the diagnosis, but I’ve also celebrated many successes .
As with most disorders early identification is important. Warning signs might include; difficulties with communication, social interaction, emotions and unusual behaviour. The American Academy of Pediatrics posts this fact sheet on their website:
My advise to parents? Get help early. Educate yourself. Be a partner in therapy. When it come to communication what I do in my office is not what counts the most. It’s what you do every day that makes a big difference. Celebrate the small steps.
Here are some links to good information about autism: