For parents who may see some atypical behaviors, the Teitelbaums also include simple exercises to encourage infants to move and develop more appropriately. However, the Teitelbaums' ultimate goal is early intervention and therapies by professionals. "With early detection there will be enormous pressure for early therapy," Dr. Philip Teitelbaum says. "There's no question that early therapies are beneficial, and the earlier they begin, the better."
The Science of Parenting
Cindy Eisnor, a mom from Islamorada, Florida, knew her daughter, Cheryl, had something wrong with her before she was even a year old, but it wasn't until Cheryl was 8 that she was finally diagnosed with autism. Before that, she'd been told Cheryl was severely mentally handicapped, and then, later, that she had cerebral palsy. So, until she was 8, Cheryl's therapy was not specific to her condition. Eisnor thinks the therapy for cystic fibrosis helped some, but not nearly enough.
"I think we lost five years," Eisnor says. "That's how I feel by the time she got to therapy that was specific to autism. During the years before that everyone around her was just winging it. There was probably some combination that helped her somewhat, but she was also so desperately unhappy because a lot of it probably just wasn't appropriate to her condition."
It's parents like Eisnor that the Teitelbaums wrote this book for. "The first message of this book is that earlier [diagnosis] is better and the second message is that the best diagnostician is the mom," Osnat Teitelbaum says. "We think mothers are often ignored and over and over we see where the mother will try to talk to her pediatrician about her concerns and be told not to worry about it, or that it was something the child would grow out of."
Osnat Teitelbaum says they reasoned that this book could give parents necessary information to give a pediatrician facts, and not just feelings. "We take parents very seriously because they are responsible for their child 24 hours a day," he says. "Many of the medical standards in place today are a result of waves of anecdotal evidence that was dismissed until it simply couldn't be dismissed."