Health Watch - Autism: Symptoms

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April is Autism Awareness Month, so this week on Health Watch, we’re talking about autism. There’s so much discussion about autism in the news these days that parents may worry if their children don’t start speaking at the right age or aren’t good at making eye contact. But autism doesn’t come down to one distinct symptom.

If parents don’t think their children are developing on schedule, they may ask their pediatrician about autism. Dr. Catherine Karni, a pediatric psychiatrist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says people with autism usually show a pattern of symptoms. Things for parents to look for include impairments in social interaction and communication, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. There are many possible reasons for these symptoms, so this doesn’t always mean that it’s autism. That makes it very important for a child to be properly diagnosed.


April 2011

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