Ten things we didn’t know about autism one year ago …

by Peggy on April 5, 2013

Autism Speaks ran a super cool top ten list this week.

I’ve re-arranged their list by topic. I think it’s more useful that way, but you can refer back to their order, too. (ASD means Autism Spectrum Disorder. Let’s all get used to the change of language again.)

Prevention

Prenatal folic acid, taken in the weeks before and after a woman becomes pregnant, may reduce the risk of autism. Here’s the story.

Early intervention

High-quality early intervention for autism can do more than improve behaviors, it can improve brain function. Read more.

Being nonverbal at age 4 does NOT mean children with autism will never speak. Research shows that most will, in fact, learn to use words, and nearly half will learn to speak fluently. Read more.

Though autism tends to be life long, some children with ASD make so much progress that they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for autism. High quality early-intervention may be key. Read more.

Researchers can detect presymptom markers of autism as early as 6 months – a discovery that may lead to earlier intervention to improve outcomes. Read more.

The first medicines for treating autism’s core symptoms are showing promise in early clinical trials. Read more.

Many younger siblings of children with ASD have developmental delays and symptoms that fall short of an autism diagnosis, but still warrant early intervention.Read more.

Social skills

Research confirms what parents have been saying about wandering and bolting by children with autism: It’s common, it’s scary, and it doesn’t result from careless parenting. Read more.

One of the best ways to promote social skills in grade-schoolers with autism is to teach their classmates how to befriend a person with developmental disabilities. Read more.

Other signs of hope

Investors and product developers will enthusiastically respond to a call to develop products and services to address the unmet needs of the autism community. Read more.

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