Autism

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is autistic. 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that doctors begin screening babies for autism as early as 18 months. But doctors agree that there are very few behaviors or telltale autistic or Asperger’s signs that babies exhibit at 18 months.

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We’ve all seen the touching photos of Halle Berry’s 3-year-old daughter Nahla caressing Halle’s face or exploring the handsome features of her father, Gabe Aubry. We all assumed that Nahla was just a very affectionate little girl.

But as a loyal reader pointed out in an email to Sandrarose.com earlier this week, Nahla might be an autistic or special needs child who communicates nonverbally with her hands.

The list of famous celebrities with autistic children includes Toni Braxton, Holly Robinson Peete, Sylvester Stalone, John Travolta, Jenny McCarthy, Dan Marino, Dawn Neufeld (‘Football Wives‘), and more.

Signs of autism begin in babies before they are 12 months old. Most children are diagnosed with autism by age 2 or 3. That’s the age when parents become aware that their toddlers’ communications skills aren’t keeping pace with other toddlers their age.

Autism is a disorder of the nerves in the brain that interferes with the signals sent from the brain to other parts of the body. The disorder is marked by poor communication skills and lack of social interaction. Doctors aren’t sure what causes autism.

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