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April is Autism Awareness Month

Dr. Renee Clauselle, Founder of Child and Family Psychology, is reminding everyone that April is Autism Awareness Month and urges parents to look for warning signs of autism and to seek Early Intervention services, if necessary, for their child. Dr. Clauselle has extensive experience in dealing with children with autism and has also spoken on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorders as a Distinguished Faculty Member for Lorman Educational Services.

According to Autism Speaks, autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States and there is currently no medical detection or cure. A recent report from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that autism now affects 1 in 88 children. That is a 78 percent increase from 2002 and these numbers are expected to grow.

Dr. Clauselle says parents should check for warning signs early on in a child’s life. If your child does not respond to their name by 12 months, does not point to objects to show interest by 14 months, and does not play “pretend” games (such as pretending to feed a doll), these may be signs of autism. Other warning signs include avoiding eye contact, wanting to be alone, having trouble relating to other people’s feelings, repeating words or phrases over and over, getting upset by minor changes and having obsessive interests.

It is extremely important for parents to seek Early Intervention services for their children if they fail to hit important developmental milestones. Child and Family Psychology works with children with autism by providing them with social skills training and coaching, as well as psychological diagnostic testing and neurofeedback, which is used as an alternative to medication.