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Diagnosing autism at an early age is key

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Candi Spitz is the mom of 10-year-old twin boys, Brendan and Jaden.

The boys have autism.

“They were the perfect babies,” Spitz said.

The boys passed their developmental milestones as expected.

“The doctors use to remark about how strong they were, how advanced they were. They were walking, talking, eating playing, everything early,” Spitz said.

But that changed when they were 17 months old.

“There were no expressions in their bodies. You would waive their hands, tickle, giggle. Anything you could do to get a reaction, and they were blank,” Spitz said.

The slowdown in development was the first step in diagnosing the boys with autism.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention found many children with autism are not being diagnosed as early as they could be.

Even though, autism can be diagnosed as early as age two, most children are diagnosed at age four.

The lag negatively affects how and when families get services they need.

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