April 2, 2009

World Autism Awareness Day

There are many diseases and medical conditions that I've found interest in whether though people I know or just by my fascination to learn more about the human body. I don't think any of them are more close to me right now than autism. My oldest stepdaughter is autistic and was diagnosed around age 3. She is now 9 years old and has made leaps and bounds from where she once was. I don't have her everyday, but it's a condition that everyone in your family has to adjust to. We have to enter her world to help her interact in ours.

Here are the early signs to watch for from www.autismspeaks.org

Watch for the Red Flags of Autism

(The following red flags may indicate a child is at risk for atypical development, and is in need of an immediate evaluation.)

In clinical terms, there are a few “absolute indicators,” often referred to as “red flags,” that indicate that a child should be evaluated. For a parent, these are the “red flags” that your child should be screened to ensure that he/she is on the right developmental path. If your baby shows any of these signs, please ask your pediatrician or family practitioner for an immediate evaluation:

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age
*This information has been provided by First Signs, Inc. ©2001-2005. Reprinted with permission. For more information about recognizing the early signs of developmental and behavioral disorders, please visit http://www.firstsigns.org or the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/actearly.

I don't want to go into too many details about her with you all since most of you are really strangers to me and she isn't technically my child, but do any of you know someone with autism? What other causes or conditions are you passionate about?


Melanie said...

Thanks for posting and sharing this info! And thanks for what you do every day for Autism, sending hugs and warm thoughts your way on this special day.

Toni said...

Hi Sarah -- I dont have any personal experience with autism, but I do have several friends with Aspergers' kids, and I know some of the daily battles they fight and the pressure it places on the family. I'm so thankful that autism in all it's guises is becoming more recognised and less of a 'family secret'.
The other cause I'm passionate about is SIDS (crib death) having lost my baby boy back in 1996 -- sadly this is something a lot of parents dont want to talk about in case they 'jinx' themselves. :(

Sarah said...

Toni, I'm sorry to hear about your son. That has been one of my biggest fears and strangely enough, SIDS is the reason I chose to co-sleep. I know it's one of the main reasons you shouldn't, but I just feel more assured when they are laying next to me. I have honestly thanked God every morning for the past two years that my children have woke up. {hugs}