The earlier a child is diagnosed with autism or developmental delays, the sooner intervention services can start. It’s during this time of rapid brain growth and plasticity that it can help a child the most.
To increase the number of area children who would benefit from early intervention, the Indiana University School of Medicine formed a partnership with Riley Children’s Foundation. Together, they opened Early Evaluation services for autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay at six Indiana locations in South Bend, Lafayette, Bloomington, New Albany, Evansville, and Fort Wayne. Additional sites are planned for later this year.
The services they provided are part of the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral System (NDBS), a model developed by faculty at the IU School of Medicine. This offers a solution to the need for high quality health care for children in Indiana with neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 68 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States – an overall increase of 30 percent from 2012. In Indiana, the average age of diagnosis is 5.3 years, but early screening with referral for evaluation and diagnosis can occur by age 18 months.
To meet this growing need, diagnostic services are now available for children who have been identified in early screenings as having concerns for developmental delay or autism. The criteria for evaluation appointments are:
Child must be 18-42 months of age
Child must have primary care physician
Primary physician must identify concern based on standardized screening tools (often ASQ and/or MCHAT)
To read the entire Spring 2015 edition of The Autism Beacon click here.
Autism risk higher near pesticide-treated fields, study says
Environmental Health News: Published by Environmental Health Sciences
By Lindsey Konkel, Staff Writer
Babies whose moms lived within a mile of crops treated with widely used pesticides were
more likely to develop autism, according to new research published June 23, 2014. The study, conducted by the University of California, Davis, included 970 children born in farm-rich areas of Northern California. They study suggested that mothers’ exposures during pregnancy may play a role in the development of autism spectrum disorders.
In this study, children with mothers who lived less than one mile from fields treated with organophosphate pesticides during pregnancy were about 60 percent more likely to have autism than children whose mothers did not live close to treated fields. When women in the second trimester lived near fields treated with chlorpyrifos – the most commonly applied organophosphate pesticide – their children were 3.3 times more likely to have autism.
The study also is the first to report a link between pyrethroid pesticides and autism. Application of pyrethroids just prior to conception meant an increased risk of 82 percent and, during the their trimester, the risk was 87 percent higher.
The researchers said that pesticides could impair brain development and signaling in a way that affects social interactions, learning and behavior.
To read more of the October issue of The Autism Beacon, click here.
Is your toddler repetitive?
Could be Autism. Study warns.
April 2014- The Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology published a new paper that will make each parent sit up and observe their child’s behavior. The study, published by lead researcher Joseph Piven, found that children demonstrating repetitive behaviors like flapping hands, spinning, etc. by their first birthday are four times more likely to have autism than
children who don’t do such repetitive actions. The study adds weight to the theory that repetitive behaviors might be a red flag for Autism that all parents should watch out for. The study, conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sends mixed signals, as repetitive actions like babbling syllables and wiggling arms are often the
first developmental milestones that children show. Distinguishing them from behaviors that point towards Autism might need sharper observation and definitely more research.
Want to read more? To view the entire April 2014 edition of The Lighthouse Beacon click here.