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Does an Early Diagnosis of Autism Improve Symptoms?

Does an Early Diagnosis of Autism Improve Symptoms?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the incidence of autism is on the rise, affecting 2.8% of 8-year-old children in a 2023 analysis, up half a percentage point from 2018. 

The CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” program recognizes the importance of uncovering the signs of autism at a young age. Monitoring a child’s development can begin as early as two months old. 

Does an early diagnosis of autism improve the symptoms? Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon MD agrees that early detection and ongoing treatment make a difference in the outlook for your autistic child. Let’s take a look at the condition and how your child benefits from an early diagnosis. 

Understanding autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) presents as deficits in communication skills, social interactions, repetitive behavior patterns, and limited interests. Symptoms can vary widely between children, though common signs include restricted eye contact, lack of response to their name, and indifference to people around them. 

There’s no singular cause of autism. Medical science suspects that, because of the complexity and variability of the condition, there could be a range of contributing factors including genetics and environmental conditions. 

Early screening and diagnosis

Some autistic children show signs of the condition in early infancy, though often development seems normal until about 18 to 24 months, when ASD symptoms become more pronounced. 

Diagnosis can be difficult in some children, and there’s no simple test to establish that ASD is present. Observation of developmental delays usually triggers a closer look. Dr. Tandon is an autism specialist, trained in recognizing the patterns and signs of ASD behaviors. 

As a parent, you can use resources like the CDC’s program linked above to educate yourself on the signs of autism. Contact us for a more complete evaluation if you suspect your child could have ASD. 

Why early detection is vital

Early intervention programs targeted for autistic children provide better outcomes in behavior and social skills later in the child’s development. Children at or younger than preschool age are at a stage of brain development that’s more flexible and fluid. 

Introducing integrated behavioral and developmental interventions at this point gives the best chance of positive influences on autistic symptoms. Your child can more easily adapt and integrate into a wider range of education and social situations. Early diagnosis and intervention may also lead to some children going off the spectrum later in life. 

There’s no standard treatment for ASD. Your child’s best interventional program is built around their needs and symptoms, with the goal of maximizing  their ability to function in a variety of environments. 

Autism is a complex condition with equally complex solutions. Developing a treatment strategy starts with a visit to Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon MD. We can help you with care and management of your child’s condition and treatment. 

Call or click to make an appointment with us at our Fountain Valley California office. Your child’s future depends on early diagnosis, so book your visit today

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