Not making eye contact, focusing on toys with lights or spinning wheels — these were warning signs for Barry Saywitz's family.
Saywitz's son Ryan was diagnosed with autism at age 2, but it gave his treatment the early start researchers say can make a difference in the childhood development of the 1 in 110 children facing autism spectrum disorders.
Ryan, now 7, has graduated from the special-education program and now goes to class with "typical" children, meaning those who do not necessarily have autism.
"Fortunately, we were able to catch it early," Saywitz said.
Saywitz, a Newport Beach resident and president of the Saywitz Co. real estate brokerage and consulting firm, was able to provide his son with the help he needed. He attributes that fact to Ryan's success, but he knows his son isn't the only one affected.
Saywitz is raising awareness and funds for programs and services devoted to help those with the disability at "An Evening for Autism" on Saturday in his Newport Beach home.