EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For the month of autism awareness, Emergence Health Network Dr. Carla Alvarado explains how important autism is and how you can detect early signs. 

Children as young as 18 months get diagnosed with autism; according to Dr. Alvarado, signs begin to show from speech difficulties, repetition, hyper focus, and learning difficulties. However, pediatricians start to look for signs as early as 9 months.

The Early Childhood Intervention detects autism, then transitions the child into the preschool program for children with disabilities. That’s where EHN will incorporate the child with non-autistic children to learn social skills. 

“We help with the diagnoses of autism and of course the comorbidities that come along with it. Sometimes you’re looking at 70 percent of children with autism not only struggle with autism,  but they might struggle with anxiety or sleep disturbance, or ADHD, depression, OCD. We can definitely help manage those symptoms and also provide the diagnoses for the therapies.”

Dr. Carla Alvarado

Although there is not a cure, people with autism can live a normal lifestyle. Dr. Alvarado says when Autism is detected early, some of the frustrations such as tying their shoe, to having an outburst in class can be prevented when seeking therapy. 

Between six months to two years old, EHN looks out for interactions such as pointing at objects, combining words, socializing with family members or peers, making good eye contact, and sensitivity to noises, textures and even food. 

“We need to be more aware, just like we are trying to help individuals with autism to adapt to the environment, we should also teach other children how to adapt to them. It’s important for socialization for both sides for the naro-typical kids to see how we can play with somebody that has autism and also how the autistic child can play with naro-typical children.” Dr. Alvarado said.  

Because it is important for individuals to fit into their world as it is for them to fit into our world, you can support and raise awareness about autism by participating in the 14th annual run walk by Autism Society El Paso on Saturday, April 30th at 8 am in Ascarate Park. 

The event is dedicated to families affected by autism, for more information call (915) 772-9100 or email autismsocietyep@gmail.com.

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