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.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Teenager Is Autistic
Autism isnt curable. Its a part of your teens personality and selfhood.
Help your teen understand who they are and learn to love and accept themselves, especially if theyre worried about not fitting in.
First, see a pediatrician, psychologist, or psychiatristwho specializes in autism. Theyll be able to walk you through
- monitoring your teens development against a checklist of common developmental milestones
- performing an in-depth behavioral evaluation
- figuring out what resources may allow your teen to overcome challenges in adapting to neurotypical norms and becoming self-sufficient
Just like the signs of autism differ for everyone, the outcomes for autistic people will look different for each individual.
The first thing to understand is that your teen isnt impaired or deficient.
But they may need access to resources that can help them overcome challenges in adapting to neurotypical norms, depending on whether their ASD has been diagnosed as mild or severe.
Heres what you can do to make your teen feel loved and accepted by you and those around you, as well as how to help them love and accept themselves.
Development Of Facial Emotion Recognition In Children
The recognition of facial expressions of emotion is thought to develop slowly during the first two years of life and continue to mature into adolescence. Some reports indicate that in the first several months of life infants can discriminate between a variety of emotional expressions . However, there are diffculties in assessing visual discrimination in young infants. For example, infantsâ ability to discriminate among some expressions is sensitive to the order of presentation, and may be affected by differential rates of habituation to specific expressions . Other data suggest that an infantâs discrimination of facial expressions is based on simple featural differences . For example 4 to 8-month-old infants discriminated âtoothyâ similes from closed-mouth smiles and closed-mouth anger, but not from toothy anger . Other findings suggest that discrimination of emotional expressions may be sensitive to early contextual information. For example, in one study, 3.5-month-old infants discriminated between happy or sad facial expressions only if the emotional expressions were displayed by their own mother in the experimental settings . Taken together these findings suggest that during the first months of life, processing of facial expressions of emotion is at a rudimentary level, and may be sensitive to familiarity with the facial identity.
Also Check: How To Self Diagnose Autism
Explaining Autism To Your Family And Friends
After receiving your childs autism diagnosis, youll likely have new questions every day. One thing that most parents struggle with at first is how to explain autism to their friends and family. Being honest about your childs diagnosis and how it affects him/her is important. The more you educate people in your childs life, the more successful interactions will be.
Give people concrete ideas on how to support your child and interact with him/her. Explain to family and friends how autism affects your child. Give specific examples and explain your childs reactions. To the extent that you are comfortable, provide comprehensive answers to their questions.
People will likely have lots of questions. It is okay to tell people you are still figuring things out. It is fine to say that you do not have all the answers and refer them to a helpful article. These conversations are ongoing ones. Each time you start a new conversation, it will likely get easier.
Using Tiimo For Our Daily Routines
Tiimo is a visual scheduling app that is designed to support people who thrive on routine. You can easily add your regular routines alongside daily activities using their free web calendar. This can then be shared on the app on your phone, tablet or smartwatch to provide reminders and support going through the routine.
A really useful function on the Tiimo web calendar is creating routines. I have set up our morning and evening routines and I have different ones for weekdays and weekends. These routines are then saved so I can add the whole routine to a day in one go , I am also able to choose the start time of the routine and if it needs to be repeated daily or weekly, every two weeks, just for weekdays or weekends.
Once you have a routine in a familiar format it is easier to introduce changes. We are working on toilet training so adding in going to the toilet as a activity in the usual routine has been really simple. Plus Tiimo then provides the reminder for my son so I just need to show him:
Recommended Reading: Do People Outgrow Autism
Sleep Is Challenging But Crucial
Autistic burnout isnt a permanent state, however. One of the best ways for anyone to recover from burnout is rest, particularly sleep, according to Amelia Nagoski, the co-author of the best-selling 2019 book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Response Cycle. But autistic people have a harder time sleeping because of their neurological differences, according to a 2019 study.
Autistic people are more likely to sleep for shorter periods of time and experience lower-quality sleep, and theyre more likely to be night owls, the study found. Research on non-autistic adults shows that insomnia is a strong predictor of burnout, suggesting a similar link among autistic people with sleep disorders.
Ms. Nagoski, 44, addressed autistic peoples sleep woes in a recent YouTube video. This essential thing that is fundamental to wellness is harder for autistic people, she said. She was diagnosed with autism in 2020, and launched her channel, Autistic Burnout, to offer advice and resources to people experiencing the condition.
All the usual sleep-hygiene tips apply to autistic people, including avoiding screens near bedtime, making sure the room is sufficiently dark and cool, and taking a shower to make your temperature drop afterward, which tells your body its time to sleep. But autistic people have to follow this advice more diligently, and even then, she said, its more effort for less result.
What Does Level 1 Autism Look Like Asd Symptoms
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates and interacts with others.
People with ASD are classified into three levels depending on the severity of the condition according to the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition :
- Ability to communicate
- Ability to adapt to new circumstances
- Ability to extend horizons beyond narrow interests and manage daily life
ASD levels indicate the degree of support the affected individual requires:
- Level I: Requires support
- Level II: Requires substantial support
- Level III: Requires very substantial support
While these levels can help determine what types of services and supports may be best for the person, they cannot predict or account for nuances in each persons personality and behavior. Treatment and support thus need to be highly personalized.
Read Also: Autistic Surgeon Show
Facial Features Provide Clue To Autism Severity
Face map: Boys with autism have broader faces and mouths, flatter noses and narrower cheeks than controls do.
Boys with autism have a distinct facial structure that differs from that of typically developing controls, according to a study published 14 October in Molecular Autism1. Specifically, boys with autism have broader faces and mouths, flatter noses, narrower cheeks and a shorter philtrum the cleft between the lips and nose compared with controls, according to the three-dimensional facial imaging system used in the study. These distinctive features suggest that certain embryonic processes that give rise to facial features are perturbed during development, the researchers say.
The participants in the study were all 8 to 12 years old, an age range during which the face is relatively mature, but not yet affected by the hormonal changes of puberty.
The researchers used the imaging system, dubbed 3DMD, to plot 17 landmarks or coordinates on the face of 64 boys with autism and 40 typical controls. They then measured the distance between several of these coordinates.
Boys with autism who have the most distinctive facial features cluster into two groups with very different sets of autism symptoms, the researchers found.
Those differences almost certainly reflect underlying neurodevelopmental processes, she says. The reason to look at the face is that it reflects differences in the brain.
Current And Proposed Specifier
At present, DSM-5 allows to use specifiers of language impairment, intellectual impairment and severity levels to distinguish clinical profiles of ASD broader category. Nevertheless, considering the results obtained from the clinical profiles comparison and from the DSM-5 severity levels distinction, it is necessary to consider the risk that, in the severity specifier Level 1 of the DSM-5, many phenotypic variances could be squeezed making this level very heterogeneous. Because of this, any attempts to predict clinical outcomes, develop individualized treatment targets or identify etiological factors may become unreal . Lai et al. underlined that defining autism using the umbrella term ASD, could hide the evident heterogeneity. In order to make progress in autism research and ultimately improve clinical practice, there is the necessity to move forward in the identification of subtypes within the autism spectrum. Maybe, a subtype specifier for HFA and AS could be useful to direct specific age-related paths of treatment .
In the present study, the suggested threshold is lower .
Also Check: Level 2 Autism Spectrum
My School And Neighborhood
Look around your school and neighborhood to see how many barriers need to be changed to help kids with autism to have the same opportunities to be friends and participate in activities just like kids without disabilities.
Asperger Syndrome And High Functioning Autism
The diagnosis of AS required at least two symptoms of social interaction impairment and one symptom of behavioral and interest restriction, a normal cognitive functioning and the absence of significant general delay in language. Moreover, diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder should not be met . This implied a differential diagnosis between AS and Autism, especially the type without cognitive delay, also known as High Functioning Autism . HFA is not a term used in the DSM, but it is commonly used to identify patients diagnosed with Autistic Disorder or PDD-Not Other Specified , with average or above average intellectual abilities . HFA differs from low-functioning autism in terms of clinical presentation, prognosis and need of support and assistance in daily life. Since AS and HFA are both characterized by a normal cognitive functioning, there has been considerable debate over whether AS and HFA are distinct conditions, suggesting different etiological and neurobiological mechanism, or share a similar underlying neuropsychological functioning and should therefore be regarded as variants of a single disorder .
According to Hans Asperger original description, his patients differ from those described by Kanner . Instead, Lorna Wing, translating Aspergers work, named the syndrome and Kanners autism both part of an autistic continuum .
Recommended Reading: Is It Possible To Outgrow Autism
Learn Everything About Your Teen
Most parents do this anyway . But if your teen is autistic and youre not sure what to do, ask them!
Keep an open conversation going with your teen. Ask them to tell you what theyre thinking or write down their thoughts.
If your teen may not have the verbal or writing capacities to share their thoughts or emotions with you, its crucial to observe their behavior and take note of what might trigger certain behavioral responses.
Find what does work to help minimize behaviors that may be disruptive or challenge their ability to get the most out of the resources they have access to.
If you believe their behavior is disruptive or hindering their ability to succeed in ways that theyve expressed interest, try to minimize those triggers or help your teen find coping mechanisms.
Here are some ideas:
- Bright lights a trigger? Keep the lights dim in your home.
- Loud noises disrupt their focus or overstimulate their senses? Buy them some noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.
- Is your teen feeling intense emotion? Give them space, and be understanding. Dont yell, make them feel ashamed, or respond with hurtful language or violence.
Early Signs Of Autism
Signs of autism in babies
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder, which means that signs become apparent as a child does not develop as expected, for example developing speech or learning to crawl later than expected.
As such, there are few signs of autism that are noticeable in newborns. However, if a baby fails to reach the developmental milestones expected at two months old, four months old, six months old, nine months old and a year old, this could be one of the first signs of autism or another developmental condition.
Good to know: Not all babies reach developmental milestones at the exact same time. It is normal to have some variation in development. If in doubt about a childÃ¢â¬â¢s development, check with a doctor.
Some of the early signs that a baby under one year old may have autism spectrum disorder include:
- Not babbling by four months old
- Not smiling by five months old
- Not laughing by six months old
- No interest in games like pat-a-cake or peek-a-boo by eight months old
- Not responding to their name by 12 months old
- Not looking at objects pointed out by other people by 12 months old
- Being upset by loud noises
- Not looking to a parent for comfort in new situations
- Being happy to play alone for long periods of time
- Not making eye contact
Signs of autism in toddlers
Some of the signs that a toddler, between one year old and two years old, may have autism spectrum disorder include:
Don’t Miss: Treatment Of Autism Spectrum Disorders Prelock
Involve The Right People
If the change is because of a move to a new school or care service, staff from both settings should be part of the preparations. The autistic person must be central in any decision making, and staff need to know about the things theyneed support with, what they get anxious about, and how they communicate.
Read our information aboutperson-centred planningand our transition advice forschool and college staffand for mental health workers.
What Is Low Functioning Autism
The difference between high functioning autism and low functioning autism is behavioral. Low functioning autism causes behaviors that inhibit the ability to conduct daily life. Children with high functioning autism have similar abilities to his/her neurotypical peers.
This is especially true when the child receives early intervention therapies. Children diagnosed with low functioning autism need more support. They struggle to communicate and manage their behaviors.
Symptoms are identifiable in infancy or early childhood. Children with autism spectrum disorder will not meet neurodevelopmental benchmarks on time or at all. These children experience delays in learning how to self-soothe, forming bonds, and talking. They usually experience severe communication and behavioral challenges.
Children with low functioning autism struggle to complete activities of daily living. They generally need help with most activities. Children with severe autism are more likely to have co-morbid conditions. These include such as Fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and epilepsy.
You May Like: What Disability Does Collin Gosselin Have
Attention Deficit And Concentration In Autism
Attention deficit in children with autism is one of the most common symptoms. In a child without autism, the sensation of concentration starts to develop in 0-2 months. Even in this short period, it can be observed that the baby smiles at a toy or the person looking at her. In addition, the feelings of movement also develop. If she expects something, she may smile to her approaching parent and begin to show her reaction with certain movements. During the 6th and 7th months babys relieving feelings develop and it gets easier to stay next to someone new. The above-mentioned developments are observed in a baby during his/her normal developmental process.
How Is Autism Diagnosed
Doctors may use a combination of diagnostic methods to evaluate symptoms.
During evaluations, hearing, speech, and language problems are ruled out. These assessments are critical because autism has a significant impact on overall communication skills. Checklists and surveys from parents, teachers, and other doctors who have observed the person in a variety of situations can paint a picture regarding the individual’s behaviors, interpersonal relationships, body language, verbal communication, and play habits.
A doctor will only make a diagnosis of autism if the information gathered meets the standard criteria for the disorder. Additional medical tests may be performed to obtain more information, although these results are not used to diagnose the condition but to identify other conditions that could be causing or worsening symptoms.
Several tools may be used to screen for autism spectrum disorder , including:
Also Check: Autism Motivational Quotes