Is your child having trouble learning to talk or giving a hug? These are two of the early signs of a group of brain disorders known as autism. For about one in 70 children, autism makes it hard to communicate with or relate to other people.

Children usually show signs of autism by age 3. These symptoms can include:

  • Rocking back and forth for a long period of time.
  • Strong attachment to objects.
  • Getting angry or upset over a change in routine.
  • Preferring to play alone instead of with other children.
  • Seldom making eye contact with other people.

The good news: When diagnosed early and with a team approach to treatment, children and their families can learn to control the symptoms of autism.

Mercy offers autism treatment for children from infancy through their teenage years. The Mercy Kids Autism Center provides an intensive early intervention program that uses a team of doctors, therapists, nurses, hearing specialists and dietitians. Mercy coordinates and designs an autism treatment program as individual as your child, which can include occupational, speech and language therapy, behavior analysis and nutritional guidance. In addition, the team gives parents tools to help their child.

Mercy sponsors Social Communication groups that offer children and teenagers, who are having trouble making or keeping friends and relating to their families, opportunities to practice their communication skills. Together, with Mercy's coordinated and expert care, we can help your child reach his or her full potential.

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