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Did you know? Autism signs

Eunice News - 4/16/2017

Some time ago our office investigated a child desertion case which led to the arrest of the mother of the child. The child had a special need which takes a toll on the family. Sometimes the care giving gets too much for one person to handle but there is help out there. April is Autism month and here are some red flags put out by Autism Speaks.

They may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don't delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:

No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter.

No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months.

No babbling by 12 months.

No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months.

No words by 16 months.

No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months.

Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.

The M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) can help you determine if a professional should evaluate your child. This simple online autism screen, available on their website, it takes only a few minutes. If the answers suggest your child is at risk for autism, please consult with your child's doctor. Likewise, if you have any other concerns about your child's development, don't wait. Speak to your doctor now about screening your child for autism. You can reach the Autism Speaks Autism Response Team (ART) is specially trained to connect people with autism, their families, and caregivers to information, tools, and resources at (888) 288-4762

In the above case the mother stated that she could not handle her child and chose to give the child up and desert the child. Louisiana law states under LARS 14:93.2.1. "Child Desertion"

Child desertion is the intentional or criminally negligent exposure of a child under the age of 10 years, by a person who has the care, custody, or control of the child, to a hazard or danger against which the child cannot reasonably be expected to protect himself, or the desertion or abandonment of such child, knowing or having reason to believe that the child could be exposed to such hazard or danger. On the 1st conviction you could be fined not more than $500 or be imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. Then on the second and subsequent conviction, you shall be fined not more than $500 fand imprisoned for not less than 30 days nor more than six months, at least 30 days of which shall be without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence.

We have certified deputies trained in the handling of a special needs child. One of the purposes of our program is to better train officers in dealing with their needs. Contact to the program by calling 337-948-6516 for the Special Needs Section or email at specialneeds@slpsheriff.com. There you will find a form to fill out and our team will insert it in our system to better alert the deputies when dealing with a special needs child.

 
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