NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) - The Yale Child Study Center is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.
The center is a pioneer in health care issues affecting children.
April is Autism Month and Yale researchers are sharing what they know to help primary care physicians and families identify autism at an early age.
Autism ia a neurobiological disorder that interferes with their ability to communicate and relate to others.
It is more likely to strike boys than girls and genetic factors are strong, but controversy over vaccine still lingers.
"The convincing data are there is no such evidence, the worry people had was based on one study that has been withdrawn. You can still worry and you can't quarrel with that, the trouble is the evidence is not there and the other side is we know measles and other preventable diseases have really serious consequences for children," says Dr. Fred Volkmar of the Yale Child Study Center.
Dr. Volkmar is head of the Yale Child Study Center which has led the charge in Autism research. He says parents with children with autism need to know early intervention is key.
"The earlier the better makes a tremendous difference. There are good models of intervention around the country that have been researched and for many children we're talking about the difference between being in some kind of residential setting as an adult as opposed to totally living a self sufficient life," says Dr. Volkmar.
That was part of the message presented to primary care physicians and pediatricians at this medical seminar. Fellow researcher, Dr. James McPartland underscored the importance of looking for early warning signs.
"Things like whether language is coming in on time. Whether children are cooing or babbling when they should, whether children are using words or combining them into phrases," says Dr. McPartland.
Currently he is monitoring families with a history of autism.
"We're going to understand more how typical development proceeds and how things go differently in autism, and secondly we're going right there to work with families for children who do experience difficulties, and we can help them reckon what to do," says McPartland.
There are a number of autism studies at Yale Child Study Center and families with a history of autism are encouraged to sign up. For more information log onto www.autism.fm
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