Study: Autistic Children More Prone to Other Disorders

by on January 14th, 2015
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I have a friend with an autistic son. She is as devoted and dedicated to his development and to getting him the help he needs, which is both expensive and time-consuming, as anyone I’ve ever seen. More than once, I’ve thought privately to myself that I don’t envy her the daily struggle of meeting her son’s needs. After all, I have three (blessedly) healthy, happy children and there are still days when I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. Parents of special needs children – of any kind – have my utmost respect.

Now there’s new research that shows what many parents of autistic kids could already tell you – that children with autism are more likely to have other disorders as well, such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD), delayed development or learning, speech problems or even epilepsy or seizures.

While separating the different disorders can be even more difficult with an autistic child who may not be able to communicate exactly what they are thinking, feeling or experiencing, an early autism diagnosis can make a difference when it comes to treatment and developmental progress. Especially if there are other disorders at play, such as speech, language, learning disabilities, anxiety or ADD. In other words, the other issues or disorders may cloud, confuse or delay the initial autism diagnosis, making life even more difficult for these children and parents.

Experts stress that early detection, diagnosis and treatment can make a very real difference and urge parents with any questions to visit their pediatrician. I think my friend would also tell you to keep asking questions if you don’t feel heard or the problems are brushed aside, especially if you have a feeling that something is wrong with your kid. After all, this is your child. It is your job as the parent to advocate for the best possible care and treatment for your child. Ask about autism and other possible disorders if you think something is going on. Discussing the options could make all the difference in the world.

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