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National Experts Offer Practical Tips for Parents Concerned about Autism
Date:4/1/2009

as diagnostic tools, but rather as guidelines to help parents direct their thoughts and conversations with experts. Parents should watch for:

  1. A child who doesn't make eye contact, fails to show enthusiasm for caregivers as they approach, who doesn't examine the faces of others and does not offer a social smile.
  2. A child who doesn't engage in conversation with others.
  3. A child who does not enjoy common games that other children enjoy such as tickle games or hide-and-seek.
  4. A child who may not appropriately play with common toys.
  5. A child who engages in repetitive movements such as hand flapping.
  6. A child who does not imitate the vocal sounds or actions of peers or adults.
  7. A child who is delayed in talking, gestures and use of facial expressions.
  8. A child who doesn't seem to understand others' verbal and non-verbal communication.
  9. A child who had learned to talk and picked up on social skills, but seems to suddenly regress and not speak or connect with others.
  10. A child whose development was progressing normally and then suddenly regresses noticeably.

Parents, who may be concerned that their child shows signs of autism, should contact their pediatrician or a health professional with experience in the field of autism or developmental disabilities.

"With autism reaching alarming rates, it is crucial that families receive an accurate diagnosis so that early intervention can immediately begin," explains Dr. Lorrie Henderson, senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Devereux. "Clinical experts agree that an early diagnosis and intervention are important to helping a child build their cognitive and language skills. Parents need to begin to look for effective educational programs at a very early age. Partnering with a quality
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SOURCE Devereux
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