Diagnosing and treating autism

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Most parents of autistic (aw-TIS-tic) children can recognize symptoms of the condition by the time the child's three years old. They may notice some signs such as the resisting cuddling, being withdrawn, or not communicating. When these symptoms have been noticed by parents, physicians use measurements of intelligence and communication to confirm a case of autism. Treatment depends on the level of severity, but it usually involves special education, behavioral therapy, medication, or a combined therapy regimen. Some autistic children function quite successfully in a public education setting, while others require institutional care. More and more is being discovered about autism, and the goal generally focuses on helping patients learn to function as productive members of society. If you think your child may be autistic, or you're interested in treatment or therapy options for an autistic child, talk to a healthcare provider.

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