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Early Detection of ASDs in Children



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Heidi Thompson

Heidi Thompson, the Office Administrator at Thompson Patent Law, authors the “Autism Corner” series in the Litigation Quality Patent (LQP) newsletter to broaden readers’ understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Table of contents


Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in children is crucial for their overall development and quality of life. Autism is a developmental disorder that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges.

Recognizing Early Signs

The signs of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3, but they can sometimes be detected as early as 18 months. It’s important for parents and caregivers to be aware of these early signs, which may include:

  • Not responding to their name by 12 months
  • Not pointing at objects to show interest by 14 months
  • Not playing “pretend” games by 18 months
  • Avoiding eye contact and wanting to be alone
  • Having trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings

Benefits of Early Intervention

Research suggests that early intervention treatment services can greatly improve a child’s development. These services help children from birth to 3 years old learn important skills, such as talking, walking, and interacting with others.

Supporting Studies

Several studies have highlighted the importance of early detection. One study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that early intervention can lead to significant improvements in IQ, language ability, and social interaction. Another study published in Pediatrics found that children who received early intervention services were more likely to have improved social skills and less likely to exhibit serious behavioral problems.

Taking Action

If you notice any of the early signs of autism in your child, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider. They can help determine if your child could benefit from early intervention services.

The Key to Better Outcomes

Remember, early detection is key. The sooner a child with autism starts receiving help, the better their long-term prognosis. Early intervention can significantly enhance a child’s development and quality of life.

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