At one point in history, perhaps a generation or two ago, autism was poorly understood, under-diagnosed, and inappropriately treated. Today, most people with autism are diagnosed by the time they are 2 or 3 years old, even earlier in some cases. That's why it's so important to stay current with your child's visits to their pediatrician at Northside Pediatrics Associates in Conroe, TX. Below, Dr Ayotunde Faweya offers some information about the facts and myths associated with autism.
What autism is
Autism is what's known as a spectrum disorder; this means that it has varying degrees of severity, presentation, and effects. In general, autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, affects the neurological system and causes challenges with the way a person relates to others and their surroundings. ASD can also have medical issues that go along with it; digestive and sleep problems often occur. The complex nature of ASD means that its causes are complicated to narrow down. Exposure to infection, medication, chemicals, or other substances may affect a developing fetus' brain; problems with the digestive or immune system after birth may also play a role in the development of autism.
What autism ISN'T
Although ASD is more recognized than it was in years past, it is still misunderstood by the general public and many pervasive untruths continue to circulate on social media and beyond. One thing we know is that autism is not caused by vaccination; this rumor was based on falsified research from many decades ago, but concern still persists that responsibly vaccinating a child against potentially deadly diseases can trigger the development of autism. ASD is also not an intellectual disability or a mental illness, although some of the same interventions may be helpful. Your Conroe, TX, pediatrician will help direct you to the best resources for managing your child's ASD in an appropriate way.
The important thing to remember is that early intervention is key to successful management of ASD. If you think your baby or toddler may have ASD, contact your pediatrician at Northside Pediatrics Associates in Conroe, TX, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Faweya today!