JOPLIN, MO – The CDC says 1 in 54 children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
“What I notice is when children around nine months of age are not making eye contact, or they’re not engaging in joint attention. When I, when I say joint attention I mean, a parent points to something shiny or points to a toy and the child is not sharing that experience with them.” Says Edie Spera, Leffen Ctr. Clinical Dir.
There are a range of signs a child could fall on the autism spectrum, which often start to show between six to nine months of age.
And even then, the behavior can fall into different classifications.
“There’s three different levels of autism spectrum disorder. And then you know the severity can change in those levels from level one two and three. You know, one day, or three being more severe and one being less severe.” Spera says.
There are options for therapy when autism is indicated.
“We have done interventions here as early as 18 months for children on the autism spectrum we do apply behavior analysis here, the Leffen Center. And by two years of age, you’re gonna see, most of all the signs of autism and most children.” Spera says.