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Autism and Child Development

Autism affects about 1 in 54 children in Utah, according to a new study. There are no known causes of autism but it may be a combination of genetics and the environment. Early diagnosis and treatment of developmental delays and autism can help children achieve the best possible outcomes as they enter school.

Every child needs regular checkups

Infants and young children should receive regular developmental screenings from the primary care provider (medical home, doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant).There are specific tools that can be used to screen for autism if children are not doing well on the usual, standardized developmental screening tools. Parents can help by tracking developmental milestones such as seeing if the children responds to his name, makes eye contact, follows where the parent points, smiles, laughs, and does pretend play.

Any time a parent has a concern they should talk to their provider. Help Me Grow, Head Start, many home visiting services, and some child care providers also provide developmental screenings that can be shared with the child’s primary care provider.

For more information, visit www.HelpMeGrowUtah.org or call 211.