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Early Diagnosis of Autism in Infants and Toddlers

Even when a mother notices signs that lead her to find out why her child is not developing as expected, who loses skills or whose behavior changes, it is almost impossible to prepare herself for a diagnosis of autism. Many mothers puts their private inner struggles aside and ask, "What should I do to find best possible help and support for my child?"

Health care staff involved with her child, who are working hard to be the best possible support for the family, need reliable resources and information, too. Through the efforts of parents and other advocates, information is now available on autism resources through links on webpages for television shows and other media. Families are often able to find reliable and effective local resources through their Regional Children's Hospital or University.

Developed for Washington State families, health and educational professionals who care for children with autism spectrum disorders,

the Center for Children with Special Needs newsletter, Linkages, connects families and professionals to early diagnostic and screening tools for infants and toddlers, 'red flags for atypical developent', family oriented fact sheets, best practices in eduction, advice and information for physicians, an autism 'safety toolkit' and a Puget Sound guide for dentists and hairstylists who are considerate of children with autism.

Links to reports include new CDC data on ASD, and the Kennedy Kreiger study that demonstrated how autism could be diagnosed in children 14 to 36 months old.

Linkages Newsletter, Volume 13, #3, has been an outstanding collection of resources for families and professionals concerned with early diagnosis and treatment for autism spectrum disorders. Linkages is available via email and at the webpage for the Center for Children with Special Needs, a program through Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center, partially funded by the Washington State Department of Health, Children with Special Health Care Needs Program.

Medical professionals and family members will find up to date, reliable information on autism in children, related health care needs, educational support, and advocacy resources, through the University of Washington Autism Center in both English and Spanish language resources. My Next Steps: A Parent's Guide to Understanding Autism explores many topics of interest to parents of newly diagnosed children with autism.

Recognizing Early Signs of Autism
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art55223.asp

Autism Video Glossary shows parents symptoms of early symptoms of autism through video clips
http://www.firstsigns.org/asd_video_glossary/asdvg_terms.htm

Browse at your local bookstore, public library or online booksellers like Amazon.com for books like Positive Behavioral Support - Including People with Difficult Behavior in the Community

Spanish language resources and translations include the CDC's Los trastornos del espectro autista (TEA) - Learn the Signs, Act Early fact sheet at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/Spanish/autism/facts.html

November 2007 an alert was sent out warning families of children who use weighted blankets that some need to be checked for possible lead contamination.

Twins and Autism Spectrum Disorders
by BellaOnline Twins Editor Kris Bigalk
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art22966.asp

Oprah, the Media and Celebrities on Autism by Bonnie Sayers, BellaOnline's Autism Spectrum Disorders Editor
http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art50331.asp

Autism Spectrum Disorder And Sensory Integration - A Closer Look
http://www.autismunited.org/blog/autism-spectrum-disorder-and-sensory-integration-801062.html

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