Autism Autism Autism, 1 In 100 In Sydney The numbers are in and 1 in 100 children in Sydney are on the autism spectrum.  Early diagnosis and intervention are key to unlocking the key to understanding and helping your child.  It's not unheard of babies and toddlers developing normally and then without warning  regressing in communication.  This proves to be life changing both in the difficulty in communicating with your child if they become non-verbal, learning how to interact with your child, plus the joy that they can bring to your family.  It can easily be described as a roller coaster ride in helping your special needs child. The most common signs that your child might be on the autistic spectrum are: avoiding eye contact, prefer to be alone, difficulty in interacting with others, inappropriate attachment to objects, inappropriate laughing, not wanting to cuddle or be touched without them being the instigator, difficulty in expressing needs, inappropriate response or no response at all to sound, no fear of dangers, unusual or repetitive play, throwing a 'fit' or having a meltdown from over stimulation, or unusual and uneven physical or verbal skills.  The sooner you recognize the signs and get assistance the better for you and your child. It's important that the parent not feel as if they are on the autism journey on their own.  A key step is to find a support group where you can interact with other parents experiencing the same difficulties.  If the parent does not remain mentally and physically healthy they reduce the incidence of aiding their child in becoming a productive member of society.  It's equally important for early intervention and finding help for your child.  Psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists or child study clinics can be key in unlocking the brain of the autistic child.  It was my experience that my son, who wasn't correctly diagnosed  until he was about 12, couldn't handle the simplest of tasks children his age were readily able to do.  He could make friends, but couldn't keep them.  It was torture to take him grocery shopping because the stimulation of noises, bright lights and crowds made him become sensory overloaded and he'd have a meltdown.  He'd spend hours alone lining his dinosaurs up in a straight line, frustrated if he couldn't get them just right. All in all help in Sydney is growing.  An autism diagnosis doesn't carry the stigma once associated with mental illness.  Early intervention, support of family and friends, and finding the correct physician and therapists are key in helping your child become a successful member of society.