New Tool for Early Detection and Treatment of Autism in Children

By: Debby Hoffer

Looking forward to a baby’s developmental milestones is typical for many parents. Crawling, sitting up alone, walking, smiling, reaching and first words are all exciting to watch. But what about the baby that is silent, withdrawn and easily frustrated? These are some of the basic signs of autism spectrum disorder and a new web based autism video glossary can help parents better determine the difference between normal development and autism spectrum disorder.

Developed by a Research Team

Developed by a research team at Florida State University, the Autism Web Based Video glossary is the first of its kind. Project Director, Professor Amy Wetherby, collaborated with two non-for-profit organizations, Autism Speaks, and First Signs to bring parents this informative early intervention tool. Professor Wetherby’s team known at Florida State University as the FirstWords Project is funded by several prominent educational organizations. The FirstWords Project is designed to assist the parents of children diagnosed with communication disorders. The autism web based video glossary is an innovative tool to support parents in evaluating the need for further diagnosis should developmental questions arise during a child’s growth.

Navigating the Glossary

Navigating the glossary is surprisingly easy with a systems check button to determine if a computer is compatible to the video glossary. Specialized software can be downloaded to help make video viewing possible.

The glossary is divided into two sections with a video glossary and a medical glossary. The video glossary utilizes side by side video clips of a normal child and an autistic child. The children are placed in similar settings and put through a set range of motions to demonstrate different behaviors. Other video clips demonstrate a single child in random environmental settings exhibiting different autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Parents should be patient in downloading the clips as the advanced technology associated with the video clips does take more buffering time.

The medical glossary contains definitions of different autistic behaviors. The FirstWords Project designed the medical glossary to assist parents everywhere in understanding the medical terminology associated with autism. Both the autism web based video glossary and the medical glossary are located at the Autism Speaks web site listed below.

Early Diagnosis and Intervention is Critical

Early diagnosis and intervention is critical to every autistic child’s success in managing the autistic disorder. The autism web based video glossary gives parents an edge in determining if a child needs professional evaluation. Hand flapping, rocking motions, avoiding eye contact, unnatural silence, hyper focusing and withdrawal are all classic autistic symptoms. Detected early, the child can be treated through proper medication and behavioral therapies. Some children with autism exhibit minor symptoms which can be difficult to detect while other children will have more obvious ones. Parents can utilize the autism web based video glossary to determine if a baby is exhibiting autistic symptoms and if the symptoms are minor or more extreme. Parents should then seek further clinical information and diagnosis from a pediatrician or autism specialist.

Medical professionals can also utilize the web based video glossary for reference to medical terminology associated with autism as well as typical autistic behaviors. Pediatricians and Family Practitioners who do not associate with autism on a daily basis can utilize the site to help ascertain proper diagnosis. When proper diagnosis has been determined, parents of autistic children should be referred to an autism specialist for treatment options and long term care.

A Powerful Weapon

Early diagnosis and intervention is a powerful weapon in the fight against autism. Many books and reports have shown that many children, with early intervention, are actually brought out of their autistic condition and are able to lead more normal, happier lives. The autism web based video glossary is an early intervention tool designed to help win the fight against autism spectrum disorder.

Resource links for parents for early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders

The web based video glossary and medical glossary .

The First Words Project site at Florida State University. Designed to help parents in the early diagnosis and intervention of communication disorders.

This site gives insight into early intervention and diagnosis from personal accounts. Lists the five early signs of autism.

Autism first signs. Early identification and intervention of children with developmental delays and disorders.