Fredericksburg Parent

April 2013

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utism A IS FOR Defining Autism: Is the Increase Real? BY NINA PARRISH, M. ED. C hatter about Autism is everywhere. And anyone who is a parent has heard of and probably spent some time worrying about the skyrocketing statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children. You hear about it in schools, coffee shops, restaurants, mom���s groups, family gatherings and in our pop culture. In fact, ASD has become so prevalent that the diagnosis is ubiquitous and pervasive. Everyone is suddenly an expert at seeing the characteristics of Autism in themselves or others around them. Former Facebook Director of Engineering, Yishan Wong stated that Mark Zuckerberg has, ���a touch of the Asperger���s.��� Dr. Drew Pinskey of MTV and Celebrity Rehab fame suggested that quirky, hyper focused, former professional NBA player Dennis Rodman was a prime candidate for an Asperger���s diagnosis. Time alluded to the idea that intensely socially awkward computer genius Bill Gates has Autism. Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark blogged that Asperger���s symptoms seemed, ���uncomfortably familiar��� and Dan Harmon creator of NBC���s Community said of the symptoms of Autism, ���the more I looked them up, the more familiar they seemed.��� The list goes on causing many to wonder, ���What is happening? Does everybody, or every male fall somewhere on the spectrum?��� Every generation has a defining psychiatric malady that causes speculation and chatter among armchair non-psychiatrists. However, ASD is not that new. In fact, researchers in the United States have used the term Autism to describe certain behavioral characteristics since the 1940s. Despite the fact that it has been around for a while, there is no medical test that can be used to diagnose Autism. Every child should be routinely screened by their pediatrician between birth to at least 36 months to assure that they are achieving appropriate developmental milestones. When there are concerns about a child���s development, the physician will usually refer the family to a specialist, and many times a diagnosis will involve a team of experts including a pediatrician, speech and language pathologist, occupational Protecting health and homes since 1967! Ask about our Organic ���GREEN��� Pest Control! Let���s get social! 18 Fredericksburg Parent and Family ��� April 2013 (540) 373-6655

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