The First Words Project offers an online screening tool, The Smart Early Screening for Autism and Communication Disorders (Smart ESAC), based on parent report for children 9 to 30 months of age. Infants and toddlers can be screened for skills that develop before children learn to talk, such as gestures, sounds, and actions with objects used in play.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as part of its "Learn the signs. Act early." campaign, have published facts sheets and videos on developmental milestones from birth to five years and information on what steps parents and caregivers can take if they have concerns about their child's development.
It's not easy to hear the news that your child has autism, and realize that your life will be utterly different than you had expected it to be. Daily life with a special-needs child presents many unique challenges. How do you come to terms with the fact that your child has autism? How do you cope once you get over the initial shock? We aim to help you by providing regular features on topics ranging from how autism affects your family to day-to-day survival strategies.
Over the last few decades, Applied Behavior Analysis has grown into a broad group of approaches and techniques designed to help children with autism. Principles of behavioral therapy (e.g., positive reinforcement of desired behaviors) are used, usually intensively, to help children with autism develop skills they’re not acquiring naturally and to reduce behaviors that are harmful to them, like self-injury. But as ABA has expanded and become more common, it has also acquired critics among parents and autism advocates, who take issue with its methods and the way they are used by some practitioners.