Autism Expert Says Autism is Not Without Hope
As Autism Awareness Month is approaching, Stephen Kanne, executive director of the Thompson Center for Autism today said early detection and groundbreaking research are crucial in providing hope to children with autism.
April is Autism Awareness Month which is a platform to promote autism awareness and acceptance for tens of thousands who are facing an autism diagnosis. In the US alone, one in 68 children is living with autism.
Mr. Kanne considers Autism Awareness Month a venue for promoting awareness about autism and to bring to light that there is hope for those who are living with it.
“The most important thing to remember during Autism Awareness Month is that autism is a serious disorder; however, it is not one without hope.” – Mr. Kanne
In addition, Mr. Kanne highlighted that early diagnosis in tandem with effective treatments and groundbreaking research, mean children with autism can and will get better.
Parents must seek help by asking for advice from their child’s pediatrician. Health providers and schools have access to vast autism-specific resources and can help parents address their child’s needs.
Mr. Kanne advises parents to take note of these following “red flags” in their children’s behavior and must consult their doctor as soon as possible.
Examples of “red flags” include:
- Not turning to their name when called;
- No big smiles or warm or joyful expressions by six months or thereafter;
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age;
- No babbling by 12 months.
In addition, Mr. Kanne said parents have to trust their instincts with regards to knowing the “red flags.”
In fact, research showed that 80 percent of the time, a mother’s instinct about her child’s health was correct.
“So, if parents are concerned, they should not hesitate to ask for a referral to an autism specialist.” – Mr. Kanne
Research is Underway to Determine Cause and Treatment of autism
Autism Awareness Month is important to highlight the need for more research about the cause and effective treatment for autism. For one, the Thompson Center for Autism currently is conducting research in a broad range of areas. The research includes studying genetics to determine the cause of autism and learning how biomarkers can improve early diagnosis. At present, geneticists are working to pinpoint the cause of autism.
The Thompson Center for Autism is also not giving up on the mission to find answers to never-ending questions on the causes of autism. In fact, it is trying new, innovative ways to effectively treat autism, ranging from behavioral therapies to pet companionship.
The MU Thompson Center is prominent for research on autism and a national leader in confronting the challenges of autism and other developmental conditions through its collaborative research, training and service programs.