Autism Awareness 2015: More Than 100 Years Of Local Advocacy


NJ Autism Family Svcs. · · Autism and Childhood Vaccines
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
or autism is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s social communication and interaction. Individuals with ASD also have restricted and repetitive behavior, interests and activities…
According to the Early Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals in New Jersey from the Department of Health, Parents or caregivers should be alert to the following red signs:

  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No pointing or gesturing by 12 months
  • No single words by 16 months
  • No 2-word phrases by 24 months
  • Loss of previously acquired skills, especially language

In addition to the concerns noted above, the following behaviors may be reason for a referral:

  • Lack of joint attention (child does not draw other’s attention to objects in the environment)
  • Child does not respond to his/her name
  • Lack of pretend, imitative and functional play appropriate to developmental age
  • Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental age
  • Child does not imitate others’ behaviors
  • Child is rigid in routines or has very difficult transitions
  • Child engages in repetitive or stereotypical behavior
  • Child has unusual responses to sensory stimuli

…(A) child with autism may play with only one toy or watch the same video repeatedly. They may engage in peculiar, sustained play activities such as spinning the wheels of a toy car instead of pretending to drive it, or dangling an object in front of their eyes for long periods of time. Others may focus intensely on a particular topic, such as dinosaurs or vacuum cleaners, to the exclusion of any other interests. Individuals with autism can be very reliant on specific routines and resistant to changes. Even a minor change in their routine or environment could be a great upset to a child or adult with autism.

Pediatricians are often the first contact when parents become concerned about their child’s development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatricians screen for ASDs during well checks at 18 and 24 months and at any time a parent raises a concern.

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