According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 54 children in the United States has autism, including 1 in 34 boys and 1 in 144 girls

The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder may be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but they usually become clearer during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).

As part of a well-baby or well-child visit, your child’s doctor should perform a “developmental screening,” asking specific questions about your child’s progress. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:

  • Does not babble or coo by 12 months

  • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months

  • Does not say single words by 16 months

  • Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months

  • Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age


Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the disorder’s symptoms vary so widely, a child showing these behaviors should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. This team might include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals who are knowledgeable about autism.

Behavior Analysis is the scientific study of principles of learning and behavior. Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated.

 The experimental analysis of behavior is the basic science of the discipline and has, over many decades, accumulated a substantial and well-respected body of research literature on how behavior is learned and changes over time. The experimental analysis of behavior is the scientific foundation of applied behavior analysis (ABA).

ABA is a systematic approach for influencing socially important behavior through the identification of reliably related environmental variables and the production of behavior change techniques that make use of those findings. 

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board www.bacb.com

FEAT-Houston www.feathouston.org

Autism Speak www.autismspeaks.org

Family to Family Network www.familytofamilynetwork.org

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Pediatric ABA services in Katy, Texas - Extraordinary Abilities