Autism affects one in every 100 children born in Canada
Knowing – and acting upon – the warning signs for autism are a parent’s best shot at helping a child with autism achieve his or her best life. The Regional Municipality of York is advising parents to recognize the early indications for autism and take action quickly.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of complex neurological disorders that affect brain function and can result in difficulties communicating and interacting, and limited interest in activities. It may also involve unusual fears, learning problems, repetitive behaviours, self-injury, peculiar sensory responses and difficulties eating and sleeping. Autism affects individuals differently and is a lifelong disability with no clear cause.
Autism has a wide range of signs and symptoms. As a result, York Region encourages parents to:
• Monitor their child’s developmental milestones regularly – While developmental delays do not automatically point to autism, they may indicate a heightened risk
• Take action if they are concerned and trust instincts – If they suspect a problem with their child’s development, share concerns with their family doctor immediately
• Not accept a wait and see approach – By doing so, they risk losing valuable time at an age where the child has the best chance for improvement
Early warning signs before the age of two include limitations in language development, social interaction or eye contact. Recognizing these early signs and seeking help may reduce chances of long-term social, emotional and educational problems, in addition to other developmental disabilities.
For children diagnosed with autism and other developmental delays, York Region Community and Health Services offers Early Intervention Services at no cost for eligible York Region residents. The Early Intervention program may help screen and assess the child, help parents understand child growth and development and provide connections with community resources. Doctor referrals are not required.
For more information or to make an appointment with Early Intervention Services, call the KIDS LINE at 1-888-703-KIDS (5437) or visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, The Regional Municipality of York
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106 After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533 firstname.lastname@example.org