One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, according to the CDC, the average age of diagnosis is 4-5 years, but a reliable autism diagnosis can be made as early as 18-24 months. Experts say that early detection is critical. Research shows, however, that low-income families, blacks and Hispanics generally receive diagnoses much later – often delaying critical treatment.
The following “red flags” from Autism Speaks may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
No babbling by 12 months
No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
No words by 16 months
No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
Finally, April is autism Awareness Month. Earlier in the month, Autism Speaks co-sponsored a “Spin For Safety” fitness event to raise funds for safety kits to be provided to autistic children who are prone to wandering. The event was organized by Arielle Patrick, a New York woman who was galvanized to action by the disappearance of Avonte Oquendo – a severely autistic boy who went missing in October after wandering away from his school. Oquendo’s remains were found months later.
NewsOne was on hand for the event and talked to Patrick about her effort and a representative for Autism Speaks about the disorder.
1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
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2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
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3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”
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4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.
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5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
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6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.
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7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
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8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.
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9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”
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10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
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11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
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12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”
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13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
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14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
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15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.
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16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
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17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
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18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
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19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
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20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
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Continue reading Red Flags Your Child Might Have Autism
20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson