What Age Does Autism Regression Start
In some children with autism, normal development stalls, often around age 2, and they start to lose many of the communication and social skills they had already mastered. The first large epidemiological study of this phenomenon, called regression, reveals that it occurs in at least 20 percent of children with autism1.
Regression Can Be Real Or Apparent
Over the past few years, there have been some debates as to whether regression, in which there is a loss of acquired communication or social skills, is a real phenomenon or an apparent one. Some have wondered whether parent reports were exaggerated.
Video records, however, combined with studies, make it clear that at least some children do in fact regress into autism while others either show signs of autism in infancy or “plateau” in their development.
A relatively new set of studies looking at the younger siblings of children with autism in their earliest months are discovering that subtle regression is quite common. While parents may notice issues such as loss of language or eye contact, researchers are noticing small losses in the areas of motor skills and response to social cues.
Such regression typically occurs before age 3. According to researcher Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, “upwards of 20% to 30% recall a period when their children lost social and communication skills in the second year of life.”
At present, no one knows exactly what causes regression, but according to developmental-behavioral pediatrician Paul Wang, We understand now that regression is common. It starts early, and it can affect many different developmental skills.”
Reducing Exposure To Toxins
The scientific community has discovered evidence that environmental factors often play a role in developing autism. One Harvard study found that children born to mothers exposed to high pollution levels had twice the risk of ASD. Pregnant women can limit airborne toxins by wearing masks, filling their gas tank after dark, and staying indoors when air quality is low. Its best to avoid areas with high traffic, especially when exercising. For the duration of pregnancy, women should eliminate alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Switching to green personal care products is wise to lessen exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Some doctors also suggest avoiding canned foods, plastic water bottles, and excessive cell phone use.
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Signs Of Nonverbal Communication Difficulties
- Avoids eye contact.
- Uses facial expressions that dont match what they are saying
- Doesnt pick up on other peoples facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures.
- Makes very few gestures . May come across as cold or robot-like.
- Reacts unusually to sights, smells, textures, and sounds. May be especially sensitive to loud noises. Can also be unresponsive to people entering/leaving, as well as efforts by others to attract the childs attention.
- Atypical posture, clumsiness, or eccentric ways of moving .
Children with autism spectrum disorder have trouble picking up on subtle nonverbal cues and using body language. This makes the give-and-take of social interaction very difficult.
Risk Factors For Chances Of Having Another Child With Autism
There are several factors that will raise your chances of having a child with autism. A lot of the data has been studied extensively by Sven Sandin, statistician and epidemiologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
He studied health records of more than 5.7 million children born between 1985 and 2004 in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Israel and Western Australia.
The data showed increased chances of having a child with autism if these factors are present:
Less time between births
You are more likely to have a child with autism with 1 year between siblings than 3 years for example
If the mother is over 40years old the chances of having a child with autism rise steeply.
And its not just the mother. Fathers who are over 50 years old increase the chances 66% higher chance due to defects in sperm quality.
There is a link with teenage parents and increased risk of autism. Teenage girls are 18% more likely to have a child with autism than women in their 20s.
Large gap in age of the parents
If there is over 10 years in age gap between the parents there is increased chance of having a child with autism.
Children are least likely to have autism if both parents are in their 20s or 30s at the time of birth.
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How Is Autism Treated
There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.
Autism Signs By 3 Months
- She doesnât follow moving objects with her eyes: Babies at high risk for autism dont follow caregivers as they move in the visual field, says Dr. Frazier. They may be more intrigued by something like a blanket.
- She doesnât respond to loud noises.
She doesnât grasp and hold objects.
She doesnât pay attention to new faces
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Autisms Genetic Risk Factors
Research tells us that autism tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child . Other times, these genetic changes arise spontaneously in an early embryo or the sperm and/or egg that combine to create the embryo. Again, the majority of these gene changes do not cause autism by themselves. They simply increase risk for the disorder
Autism Runs In Families With History Of Brain Conditions
by Nicholette Zeliadt / 15 April 2019
Children in families with a history of brain conditions are at increased odds of being autistic, a large study in Sweden suggests1. The more closely related the family members with these conditions, the greater the childs chances of having autism.
Other studies have reported similar trends: A childs odds of having autism increase if she has a sibling with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or intellectual disability, or a parent with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety2,3,4.
The new study looked at family history of these conditions, as well as epilepsy and more than a dozen others, and included grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
In autism studies, scientists tend to focus on older siblings, but many people with autism dont have an older sibling with autism, says lead investigator Brian Lee, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Family history, in nearly every aspect of medicine, is an incredibly strong determinant of outcome.
Lee and his colleagues examined records from 10,920 children with autism and 556,516 typical children enrolled in the Stockholm Youth Cohort, an ongoing study of children born in that city. The researchers used national registries to identify the childrens more than 8 million relatives and those relatives diagnoses.
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Large Head Size Is A Red Flag
Recent findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that the brains of children with autism develop differently from an early age. Researchers discovered that most infants who were later diagnosed with autism had small head circumferences at birth but had heads and brains much larger than normal by 6 to 14 months. “Some of them went all the way up to the 90th percentile in just a few months,” says study coauthor Natacha Akshoomoff, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Those who ended up with the most severe form of autism were found to have the most dramatic acceleration of brain growth during infancy.
Pediatricians don’t always measure head circumference at well-baby visits, so it’s wise to request it. However, don’t panic if your baby’s head size is above the norm. Some babies just have big heads. “Rapid head growth is not a way to diagnose autism,” Dr. Akshoomoff points out, “but it means that a child should be watched closely to be sure that she meets speech and behavioral milestones.”
Signs In The First Six Months Of Life
Absence of these interactions is one of the chief signs of autism during the first six months of a babys life. If your child isnt smiling at you or showing expressions of enjoyment by this age, this might be a clue that your baby may have some developmental delays, according to Helpguide.org.
There is also some evidence that very young babies who do not seem interested in the faces of others are at a higher risk for autism. One study, performed by researchers at Yale, observed the amount of time infants spent looking at images of faces.
More than two years later, researchers followed up with this same group of infants and found that those who went on to be diagnosed with autism were more likely to belong to the group of infants who spent less time looking at faces.
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Stimming Is Not Always Bad
Stimming is short for self stimulatory behaviour and involves repeating an action or movement over and over in order to stimulate the senses in a specific way. All people do it on a small scale, be that biting your nails or jigging your leg, but those on the autistic spectrum will do this more obviously to calm themselves when feeling overwhelmed. Its a bit like closing yourself off from something that is overwhelming in order to focus on the calming repetitive nature of a chosen movement. To outsiders, stimming can look alarming and even dangerous, but in most cases, if the person is not hurting themselves physically, this process is actually very helpful.
Prenatal Exposure To Viral And Bacterial Illnesses
You may or may not have heard this one before that getting sick during pregnancy can up the odds of an Autism diagnosis in your baby. This information has been around for quite awhile now that when infections stimulate the central nervous system of the mother, her immune response might trigger an alteration in the unborn baby. While some might assume that a more serious illness is needed, that is not necessarily true. The main causes for concern are viral infections during the first trimester, and bacterial infections in the second trimester. The highest threat arises when the mother is sick enough to be hospitalized in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. The biggest culprits are the flu, the herpes virus, congenital rubella, and borne disease. When we see rubella, we often think of the MMR vaccine and the ongoing debate over a link between Autism and the scheduled shot. Direct evidence that the vaccine could cause Autism has not been found. It is still unknown whether the risk for Rubella is still present when the mother is exposed to live vaccines.
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Can Autistic People Join The Army
Army applicants with autism spectrum disorders are automatically disqualified, per Defense Department accession policy, though sometimes medical enlistment waivers are granted after a visit to a DoD behavioral health consultant, according to Lisa Ferguson, the chief spokeswoman for the services recruiting command.
What Are Some Common Signs Of Asd
Even as infants, children with ASD may seem different, especially when compared to other children their own age. They may become overly focused on certain objects, rarely make eye contact, and fail to engage in typical babbling with their parents. In other cases, children may develop normally until the second or even third year of life, but then start to withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.
The severity of ASD can vary greatly and is based on the degree to which social communication, insistence of sameness of activities and surroundings, and repetitive patterns of behavior affect the daily functioning of the individual.
Social impairment and communication difficultiesMany people with ASD find social interactions difficult. The mutual give-and-take nature of typical communication and interaction is often particularly challenging. Children with ASD may fail to respond to their names, avoid eye contact with other people, and only interact with others to achieve specific goals. Often children with ASD do not understand how to play or engage with other children and may prefer to be alone. People with ASD may find it difficult to understand other peoples feelings or talk about their own feelings.
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What Raises A Babys Risk Of Autism
Study Flags Possible Associations From Parents, Pregnancy, Birth
May 18, 2005 â Pregnancy factors, parental psychiatric history, and preterm delivery may be associated with an increased risk of autism, says a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Here are the potential associations noted in the study:
- Breech presentation of the baby
- Low Apgar score, an index used to evaluate the condition of a newborn five minutes after birth
- Birth before 35 weeks of pregnancy
- Parental history of schizophrenia-like psychosis
- Parental history of affective disorder, which includes some psychoses, depression, and bipolar disorder
However, those traits are not presented as definite causes of autism or as the only possible risk factors for the condition. Of course, not all babies born under those circumstances have autism or related disorders.
Rates Are On The Rise
An estimated 1 in 40 children in this country have autism to some degree, according to a recent study from Pediatrics based on 2016 data. That’s about 1.5 million children between the ages 3 to 17. Nationwide, autism strikes three to four times more boys than girls the rates are about the same for kids of all races.
Although there seems to be an autism epidemic, the Pediatrics study attributes the increasing prevalence to more inclusive reporting. The definition of autism has been expanded in the past decade to include a wider spectrum of problems with communication and social interaction. “Ten years ago, many children with mild autism were simply not diagnosed,” says Adrian Sandler, M.D., a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Mission Children’s Hospital, in Asheville, North Carolina, and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on children with disabilities. Plus, there are more state and federal programs for autistic kids, giving doctors an incentive to diagnose and refer them. However, there may be additional, unknown reasons for the spike in autism rates, and researchers are investigating everything from environmental toxins to viruses to food allergies.
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How Common Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD affects about 1 in 59 children in the United States. It affects children of all backgrounds, but its almost 4 times more common in boys than in girls. More people are being diagnosed with ASD today than ever before. Were not sure exactly why, but it may be because of several reasons, including:
- The way health care providers define and diagnose ASD has changed. A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately, like autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified and Asperger syndrome. Now these conditions are all called ASD.
- In the past, only children with the most severe ASD symptoms were diagnosed. Today children with less severe ASD symptoms are diagnosed.
- People are more aware of ASD. More families know the signs and symptoms of ASD, so more children are checked for it. More providers are screening for ASD now than in the past.
- Schools are more aware and are able to help identify signs and help children receive more special education services.
Autism And Your Environment
Sometimes, when a situation is too much to cope with due to sensory input , or being asked to do things that cause stress or distress, an autistic person can become overwhelmed.
Meltdowns and shutdowns
When an autistic person becomes overwhelmed and isnt able to use or benefit from their coping strategies, they might have meltdowns or shutdowns.
Its important, for parents of autistic children in particular, to be aware that a meltdown isnt a tantrum. A tantrum is something that a child can control, and tantrums often happen because a child wants something. A meltdown or shutdown isnt something an autistic person can control, and its caused by being overwhelmed.
During a meltdown, an autistic person might try to make themselves feel less overwhelmed. This can include doing things like:
- trying to get away from people for example by running away or hiding
- trying to get people away from them for example by shouting, screaming, hitting, or acting aggressively
During a shutdown, an autistic person might try to block everything out for example by not responding to anything or anyone around them.
Like everyone else, autistic people can display challenging behaviour if theyre in the wrong environment. While it can be challenging for the people around them, this behaviour is often a result of distress or frustration, particularly if an autistic person has difficulty with communicating.
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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.
The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.
ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls. The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.