Early Identification of Children with Autism  

April 16, 2012

The Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Network is reaching out to parents and caregivers and teachers to increase the awareness of autism and to help with the early identification of children who have autism. The Central Region Autism Spectrum Disorders Team at ESU 10 is one of five regional teams supporting the provision of training and technical assistance in meeting this goal. In addition, regional teams help build local capacity in school districts in serving children with autism.

One in 110 individuals and one in 70 boys are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, making ASD more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and social groups and is four times more likely to occur in boys than girls.

Autism Spectrum Disorders are complex neurological disorders that typically appear during the first three years of life, impairing a child's ability to communicate and to relate to others. Symptoms range from very mild to severe. Parents often times are the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or to recognize that their child has not reached the appropriate developmental milestones. If you have concerns about your child's development, experts encourage you to act now by contacting your local school district to request an evaluation or to speak to your pediatrician about having your child screened for an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Research shows that early intervention can result in significant improvements for young children.

The Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorder Network provides up-to-date information and training as well as workshops statewide on a number of ASD topics for families and educators working with individuals on the autism spectrum.

For local, regional and national resources as well as ASD information across the lifespan, please visit the Nebraska ASD website.