A new study released by the University of Washington this week suggests that siblings of children with autism are at higher risk of being diagnosed with the disorder. The study looked at more than 600 three-year-olds with an older autistic sibling and found that nearly one in five was on the autism spectrum. The study also showed that the rate of children diagnosed with autism has risen to one in every 110 US children, and signs of that rate decreasing are not evident.
The results of this study should be used to help keep an eye on those siblings of children diagnosed with autism, even as toddlers, as early intervention with therapy and extra support might keep their symptoms to a minimum. “We know that the brain at young ages is more amenable to change,” said study author Wendy Stone, of the University of Washington Autism Center in Seattle. If signs of autism present, visit your physician or speech-language pathologist for an evaluation to help promote your child’s social and emotional development.
Researchers agreed that more work needs to be done to figure out what kinds of interventions might be most helpful for kids with the first signs of autism. To learn more about the study visit their official site here.