By Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D
Founding Editor, bSci21.org
Dr. Marty Nygaard has an article on TheSpectrum.com on an acronym (ALARM) to aid in physicians’ detection of autism. We summarized the acronym below. Take a look at it and let us know if you think it is useful or totally off base.
Autism is prevalent. According to Nygaard, approximately one out of every six children has a developmental or behavioral diagnosis, and a diagnosis of autism is found in about 1 in every 88 cases. (Note: Statistics fluctuate, but see the Centers for Disease Control.)
Listen to parents, as signs of autism can appear early and parents concerns can be critical at this stage.
Act early. The earlier and more intensive treatment can be, the better off the child will be.
Refer children with suspected symptoms to a specialist to verify if a diagnosis is warranted.
Monitor the child’s behavior over time for any new signs that a diagnosis may be warranted.
Nygaard talked about the broadening of the definition of autism and some key characteristics, such as a lack of social interaction, speech delays, sensory sensitivity, and many times a “focused brilliance” in a particular skill or talent. He also emphasized the wide spectrum of autism from mild to severe. The latter may be characterized by a total lack of speech and social interaction.
Dr. Nygaard also endorsed Applied Behavior Analysis as “an extremely effective, but also time intensive” treatment.
So what do you think of his acronym? Let us know below. Also remember to subscribe to bSci21 via email to stay in the loop with new articles sent directly to your inbox!