Our annual health fair is scheduled for Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th. The hours are 7am to 11am. This will be held once again at the Eads Elementary School, 900 Maine St. Eads, CO.
Woman's Panel - $36.00
Men's Panel - $56.00 including PSA screen
Please remember to fast at least 8 hours prior to arrival. Please feel free to hydrate yourself with water during this time.
There will be health-related educational booths set up about area resources available.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the hospital at (719) 438-5401
April is National Autism Awareness Month
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis and intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.
In March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys. The spotlight shining on autism as a result has opened opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve families facing a lifetime of supports for their children. In June 2014, researchers estimated the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is as great as $2.4 million. The Autism Society estimates that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism. (This figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, related therapeutic services and caregiver costs.)
Autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. For more information on developmental milestones, visit the CDC’s “Know the Signs. Act Early” site.
Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:
The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder may or may not be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but usually become obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).
As part of a well-baby/well-child visit, your child’s doctor should perform a “developmental screening,” asking specific questions about your baby’s progress. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:
Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the symptoms of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team. This team may include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals knowledgeable about autism.
For more information please visit www.cdc.gov/actearly.
When parents or support providers become concerned that their child is not following a typical developmental course, they turn to experts, including psychologists, educators and medical professionals, for a diagnosis.
At first glance, some persons with autism may appear to have an intellectual disability, a sensory integration disorder, or problems with hearing or vision. To complicate matters further, these conditions can co-occur with autism. However, it is important to distinguish autism from other conditions, since an accurate diagnosis and early identification can provide the basis for building an appropriate and effective educational and treatment program. There are also other medical conditions or syndromes that can present symptoms that are confusingly similar to autism’s. This is known as differential diagnosis.
A brief observation in a single setting cannot present a true picture of an individual’s abilities and behaviors. Parental (and caregiver) and/or teachers’ input and developmental history are important components of making an accurate diagnosis.
There are many differences between a medical diagnosis and an educational determination, or school evaluation, of a disability. A medical diagnosis is made by a physician based on an assessment of symptoms and diagnostic tests. A medical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, for instance, is most frequently made by a physician according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) of the American Psychological Association (2013). This manual guides physicians in diagnosing autism spectrum disorder according to a specific number of symptoms.
An educational determination, in contrast, is made by a multidisciplinary evaluation team comprised of various school professionals. The evaluation results are reviewed by a team of qualified professionals and the parents to determine whether a student qualifies for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Hawkins, 2009).
There is no known single cause for autism, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism versus in neurotypical children. Researchers are investigating a number of theories, including the links among heredity, genetics and medical problems.
In many families, there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities, further supporting the theory that the disorder has a genetic basis. While no one gene has been identified as causing autism, researchers are searching for irregular segments of genetic code that children with autism may have inherited. It also appears that some children are born with a susceptibility to autism, but researchers have not yet identified a single “trigger” that causes autism to develop.
Other researchers are investigating the possibility that under certain conditions, a cluster of unstable genes may interfere with brain development, resulting in autism. Still other researchers are investigating problems during pregnancy or delivery as well as environmental factors such as viral infections, metabolic imbalances and exposure to environmental chemicals.
Autism tends to occur more frequently than expected among individuals who have certain medical conditions, including Fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, congenital rubella syndrome, and untreated phenylketonuria (PKU). Some harmful substances ingested during pregnancy also have been associated with an increased risk of autism.
Research indicates other factors besides the genetic component are contributing to the rise in increasing occurrence of autism, such as environmental toxins (e.g. heavy metals such as mercury), which are more prevalent in our environment than in the past. Those with autism (or those at risk) may be especially vulnerable, as their ability to metabolize and detoxify these exposures can be compromised.
Facts and Statistics
A child’s autism diagnosis affects every member of the family in different ways. Parents/caregivers must now place their primary focus on helping their child with ASD, which may put stress on their marriage, other children, work, finances, and personal relationships and responsibilities. Parents now have to shift much of their resources of time and money towards providing treatment and interventions for their child, to the exclusion of other priorities. The needs of a child with ASD complicate familial relationships, especially with siblings. However, parents can help their family by informing their other children about autism and the complications it introduces, understanding the challenges siblings face and helping them cope, and involving members of the extended family to create a network of help and understanding.
Please get involved and support our community in being better informed of this disorder with the quality information and valuable resources that are available.
If you have any questions or concerns about Autism, please call and speak to one of our providers at the clinic. (719) 438-2251.
The Mission Statement of Kiowa County Hospital District is to create a healthy community through access to quality, friendly, state-of-the-art health care and health education.
Kiowa County Hospital District is a State Licensed 25-bed Critical Access Hospital. We provide the following care and services:
We also offer the following Specialty Clinics:
The Mission Statement of Kiowa County Hospital District is to create a healthy community through