Friday, February 15, 2008
Medical Reports: Autism
This year, more than 24,000 kids in the U.S. will be diagnosed with some form of autism, but how do parents know what to look for? In today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us how a new on-line tool could be just what parents need to spot the signs.
WSVN -- Nicholas Voss is a bundle of energy, but, early on, his mother saw something different about his behavior.
Stefanie Voss: "I would ask his teachers, I would ask day care workers, I would ask friends, 'Is something wrong? Is that normal?'"
Doctors soon diagnosed Nicholas with autism, a puzzling disorder that affects one in 150 kids, but Nicholas' mom says she wishes she had known what to look for.
Dr. Amy Wetherby: "This is an early red flag of autism spectrum because he has such a keen, intense interest in making the bowl wobble.
This clip is one of more than 100 in a video glossary at autismspeaks.org, a website designed to help parents see the difference between typical behavior and behaviors that may be a red flag for autism, like performing repetitive movements, like rocking or flapping hands, not seeking cuddling or attention, showing more interest in objects than people and a lack of interest in playing pretend or make-believe.
Amy Wetherby: "What we hope it will do is help them know whether those are behaviors that they need to be worried about."
Thanks to early intervention, Nicholas has come a long way.
Stefanie Voss: "He's talking, and he's smart, and he's lovable, and he's affectionate, and he's all the things I once read he would never be."
Christine Cruz: "The on-line video glossary is free and funded by Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research."
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