Autism can be reliably diagnosed in toddlers who are as young as 18 months old, yet most children who have autism are diagnosed between ages 4 and 5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While an early diagnosis is important when it comes to getting kids the help they need, studies also found that the age of diagnosis is even higher for low-income and minority children. To help parents identify the signs of autism earlier, the Ad Council released a video called "The Big Day" to illustrate some of the behaviors a kid with autism might display in a birthday party setting.
"Identifying the early signs of autism can make a lifetime of difference in helping a child access resources to reach their full potential," reads the Ad Council's press release. "As part of our ongoing commitment to lowering the age of diagnosis, we're joining with Autism Speaks to launch an all-new, bilingual awareness campaign, encouraging parents of young children to spot the signs early and seek support when they need it."
The campaign features three children on the spectrum who display some common signs of autism, including having an adverse reaction to loud noises and struggling to make eye contact. The Ad Council also released a video in Spanish to give more families the tools they need to spot a potential diagnosis. Parents who suspect that their child might have autism may want to schedule a formal evaluation with their doctor.