Your Healthy Family

May 23, 2013 9:45 AM by Marissa Torres

Difficulties in diagnosing Autism

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control says as many as one in five children, ages three to seventeen, experiences a mental health disorder in the U.S. each year. But often-- a correct diagnosis can be difficult to come by, especially when it comes to Autism.

"As a parent I was searching for the one solution that would help him and help him fit into small groups and be able to play with other kids."

There's nothing more frustrating for a parent than not having answers, but that was a reality for Penny Frank-- a mother of a child with Asperbers syndrome- a form of Autism.

"Often times, it's missed because it can look like the child is hyperactive or maybe just has some attention focus issues, or it can look like Tourrette's."

Frank works at Aspen Point of Colorado Springs, helping other children and families with special needs. She says mental health providers are getting better at diagnosing autism, but there's still a long way to go when it comes to recognizing the typical signs and behaviors associated with the disorder.

"Autism has various forms and levels from very severe to very mild Autism."

Autism is generally characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

"It can also look like a child that is gifted and talented."

Parents who suspect their child has autism should seek medical advice. Frank says getting a correct diagnosis means getting the right treatment and therapies.

"It told me to back off on all the behaviors and encourage him as his own person and to do the things he could do best and to do it more."

You can contact Aspen Point at



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