Monday, October 15, 2007

"Autism Speaks:" Videos Help Parents Recognize Signs of Autism

The incidence of autism among children has been growing, alarming parents who might be worried if their children are affected.

A unique new Web site has been set up with video clips that show the behavior of autistic children, contrasted with that of non-autistic kids. Some signs of autism are very noticeable, but others can be subtly different from typical childhood behavior, and this "autism video glossary" helps parents recognize signs of autism.

The new site is sponsored by two groups, Autism Speaks and First Signs. Users need to register for the site, but viewing the videos is free.

The Web site also includes a glossary of terms that describe autistic behavior.

While a child shouldn't be diagnosed as autistic simply by viewing videos, the Autism Speaks video clips are meant to help parents recognize signs and perhaps follow up with a health professional if they are concerned.

Autism is a term used to described for a wide range of behaviors of varying severity. Professionals often use the term "autism spectrum disorders" to describe the set of conditons and behaviors related to autism, which includes Asperger's syndrome. Autism Speaks was founded in 2005.

Autism Speaks has merged with two other leading autism advocacy organizations, the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), to combine their efforts.

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