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Autism Awareness Month - Day 5

Posted Apr 09 2009 7:15pm

Information: Studies show that early diagnosis and intervention improves the chance for a positive outcome in autism.

Quote: A treatment method or an educational method that will work for one child may not work for another child. The one common denominator for all of the young children is that early intervention does work, and it seems to improve the prognosis. - Temple Grandin

Link: It is important to know theHallmark Milestonesfor children and to watch forRed Flags. TheIs Your Child at Risk for Autism?poster is another useful tool.

Diet/Biomedical Info: There is a saying among my people and it goes like this: "Just because it's GFCF, it doesn't mean you should eat it!" Many people say to me "Well, that is so healthy for you!" when they hear that we are GFCF. While it can be healthy because we make wise choices as to what we put into our bodies, it is very easy to be unhealthy on the GFCF diet. The more packaged convenience foods and cake and brownie mixes we enjoy the faster we slip down the slippery slope of junk food. As with anything, be informed and make wise choices!

Personal Story: The links above are from First Signs, a place I often visited in those early "wait and see" days. More often than I care to admit, pediatricians put parents off when they voice concerns, telling them to "wait and see" if their child begins talking and hitting those milestones. There are simple tests like theM-Chatthat will tell your pediatrician if your child is at risk for autism. When we took that test (not with our pediatrician's help!) Nathan came up as at risk. He later was evaluated with the ADOS and Vineland tests and diagnosed with autism. I wish that I could say that our pediatrician was helpful, but he was not. His suggestion when we brought up our concerns when Nathan was 21 months old was to have our 8 year old play Candyland with him. I don't know when the last time you played Candyland with a 21 month old, much less one that will not gesture, make eye contact or speak, but I can tell you, it doesn't go too well! :) The reason I am sharing this story is to tell parents to trust your gut instinct and investigate further if you feel the need. Only you can be your child's advocate and your child needs you to step up to the plate. Another saying of my people is; Run, don't walk to get your child intervention!

- Julee
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