Autism and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both terms for a group of brain development disorders. In varying degrees, these disorders affect verbal and nonverbal communication and are characterized by repetitive behaviors and difficulty in social interaction. While ASD can bring physical health issues, attention problems, and even intellectual disability, some of those with ASD excel in math, music, art, or visual skills. While the symptoms appear to become noticeable between the ages of two and three years, ASD seems to take root at some point in the early stages of brain development.
ASD is becoming more common, with prevalence rates recently increasing between 10 and 17 percent each year. It’s the fastest growing developmental disorder in America, now affecting 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. Relative to the prevalence 40 years ago, ASD it now ten times as common, according to Autism Speaks. A number of different genes have been connected with autism, but there is still no medical test. Instead, an assessment is made based on a child’s behavior and development. Children and adults with ASD often have different ways of paying attention, learning, and interacting socially, some of which can provide behavioral clues. Examples of behavior associated with ASD include:
- Not pointing to show interest or looking where others point
- Avoiding eye contact and displaying a limited interest in other people
- Responding to other sounds but not another person talking to them
- Repeating actions over and over
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine
- Not playing “pretend”
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings and how to interact
There is no cure for ASD, though early intervention programs can help a child learn basic skills before the age of three years. Therapy programs can help a young child learn to walk, talk, and interact with other people. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) offers services for children under 36 months old who are also at risk for developmental delays. Find out about early intervention programs available in your state, and you can also seek out programs like speech therapy without waiting for an official diagnosis of ASD.
At Gulf Coast Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Center, we use stem cells collected from adipose or fatty tissue obtained in a short liposuction procedure. From the fatty tissue, we separate a portion that has a high concentration of stem cells and growth factors. The outpatient procedure takes only about three hours from collection to deployment. We have obtained significant improvement in behavior following stem cell therapy. Give us a call to learn more.
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