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Does My Toddler Have Autism

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Autism Signs By 12 Months

Does My Toddler Have Autism or Is It a Speech Delay Due to COVID Isolation?
  • She doesn’t say single words.

  • She doesn’t use gestures such as waving or shaking her head.

  • She doesn’t point to objects or pictures.

  • She can’t stand when supported.

It’s important to note that these criteria aren’t conclusive evidence of autism. “Theyre simply things we look for to determine if we need to further assess the baby, says Mandi Silverman, PsyD, MBA, senior director of the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute. Another social or developmental factor may be to blame.

Does My Child Have Autism Or A Speech Delay

By C. Dixon

Many children with autism experience a speech delay. However, a speech delay on its own doesnt automatically mean a child has autism far from it. In addition, a speech delay doesnt indicate that a child has a low IQ or intellectual disability.

However, many people conflate autism and speech disorders, which is understandable, as roughly one-third of those with autism are also nonverbal.

But incidences of speech disorders are higher than rates of autism. As of 2018, the CDC pegged autism rates at 1 in 59 kids speech disorders crop up by 1st grade in 1 out of 20 kids.

So how do you know if a child has autism or a speech delay?

Dr. Mary Barbera is an autism mom, registered nurse, behavior analyst, and author. As a first-time mom, she didnt know the early signs of autism when her son was little. Though he was in speech therapy when he was about two years old, autism in the 90s wasnt nearly as well-known or diagnosed as often as it is now.

When her son was eventually diagnosed with autism the day before he turned three she made it her mission to learn the early warning signs and to educate as many people as she could, as early detection can have a huge, positive impact on delays.

Children who are 18 months to 24 months old and are either talking very little or not talking at all exhibit a few signs that can help differentiate if they have autism or just a speech delay. In her video, Dr. Barbera explains what she looks for.

Early Signs Of Autism In Boys

Autism is seen more prevalently in boys than in girls. Therefore, the core symptoms mostly coincide with the symptoms we have mentioned to be seen in children with autism in all ages.

Here are some of the early symptoms in autistic boys:

  • Doesnt make eye contact
  • Has repetitive behaviors
  • Doesnt like physical contact

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What If My Friend Has Autism Spectrum Disorder

Some people with ASD do not feel that they have a disorder and don’t want to change. They’re proud of who they are and they want to be accepted, even though they may have different strengths and weaknesses than most other people.

All people deserve respect. But kids with ASD may be teased, bullied, or left out because they’re different. Bullying and teasing are never the right way to treat other people, but it may be hard to be a friend with someone who has ASD.

Kids with ASD often don’t understand playful jokes. You may need to be very clear when you communicate with someone who has ASD.

Try to be patient and kind. Remember how hard it might be for the person with ASD to understand how to be a friend. Stand up for classmates who are bullied. Tell adults, so they can help protect kids who are bullied.

About Early Signs Of Autism

Does My Child Have Autism?

Some early signs of autism usually appear in the first 1-2 years of life.

Early signs of autism are listed below. Some children have many early signs, whereas others have only a few. The number of signs autistic children have varies according to their age and the effect that autism has on their everyday lives.

Sometimes early signs of autism change over time. For example, children might lose or stop using social-communication or language skills, or signs might become clearer as children get older.

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What Will Happen If Your Child Is Diagnosed With Aspergers

As part of your childs comprehensive evaluation, you will be asked about early childhood symptoms and your childs behavior will be observed, says Eric Hollander, MD, director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. This evaluation will be critical to make sure your child gets the appropriate support services such as specialized educational settings, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and social skills training, he says.

You may also be referred to an autism diagnostic and treatment center. The nonprofit organizations Autism Speaks and ICare4Autism can connect you with resources and advocate for services at low or no cost to your family, Dr. Hollander says.

Its a good idea for parents of children diagnosed with Aspergers to seek counseling so they will be able to help their child learn to function, says John Carosso, PsyD, a child psychologist and certified school psychologist at Community Psychiatric Centers at the Autism Center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It can also be helpful to get connected to a support group to help you, the parent, he says.

She Has Excessive Interest In One Thing

Every parent knows that all kids sometimes develop strong interests in a specific thing , but sometimes their interest in one thing becomes excessive. “Thomas the Train used to be a big one,” said Dr. Soorya. “Lining up Thomas, reenacting lines from the movie, carrying around the train. Then they would have a hard time moving on to other trains or other vehicles.”

Dr. Soorya said it becomes a problem when this intense interest expands into other things so much that they can’t talk about other topics, need to have specific toys or objects with them wherever they go, or need to watch the movie while they’re eating or they won’t eat. “It grows from a little interest to all encompassing. When you try to move on from there it becomes a struggle. When it starts to really get in the way of day to day activities, that’s when it becomes a problem.”

According to the Interactive Autism Network, these types of “restricted interests” can also include things like “watching a fan spin around for hours flipping the flag on a toy mailbox up and down again and again taking a spoon or other inanimate object everywhere as though it were the most special thing in the world” and countless others.

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What Does Aspergers Look Like

The three characteristics a child with Aspergers exhibits are social awkwardness, obsessiveness, and sensory issues, says John Carosso, PsyD, a child psychologist and certified school psychologist at Community Psychiatric Centers at the Autism Center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They might be bossy, very physical, and lack empathy, he says. They may be aggressive. They want to be friendly with other children but they dont know how. Temper tantrums, self-injury, and aggression are other possible signs, as are language delays and the habit of avoiding eye gaze.

Look for deficits in social communication, repetitive behaviors, and rigidity, says Eric Hollander, MD, director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. A child with Aspergers may obsess over one item, always carrying it around, he says. This also can interfere socially since this may be all the child talks about, he says. And they may be hypersensitive to clothing, sounds, touch, textures and smells.

Additionally, Dr. Hollander says, because life is generally so difficult for these children, they may mishandle social situations. These kids tend to be very emotional and are always having tantrums, he says. They are routine-oriented and very rule-oriented. They have the attitude: These are the rules and you stick with the rules.

What If Your Child Shows Some Early Signs Of Autism

DOES MY TODDLER HAVE AUTISM?

Any one of these signs may not be a problem. But in combination, they may signal a need to conduct a screening or diagnostic evaluation.

As a general guide, if your child shows any 4 of these early signs, use our free online Social Communication CheckUp to screen your baby for autism.

If your child shows 8 or more of these early signs, ask for a referral for a diagnostic evaluation.

Talk to your childs doctor or teacher about any of these early signs or contact your local early intervention program. Share this article with them.

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The 5 Easy Questions That Can Help Detect Autism

A baby brings hopes for a perfect life filled with baseball games, piano recitals, and tiny voices learning to say, “Mommy,” “Daddy, and, I love you.”

Sometimes, though, those voices never come.

A child may appear to be developing normally but when it comes time for the child to speak, parents are met with silence or meaningless babble.

It might not even occur to a parent that his or her child isn’t speaking at an appropriate age level until the child spends time with peers at daycare, preschool, or even kindergarten and isn’t able to communicate.

According to the Autism Society, one in 54 children has a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. About one in six children have some kind of speech delay or impairment.

Oftentimes, children aren’t diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder until age four or five, but the child may begin showing signs by the time he or she is two.

That can be scary news for a parent to receive, but it certainly doesn’t mean anything is “wrong” with the child. It only means the parents will need to adjust their plans and expectations to include early intervention.

Think about that. There could be at least two to three years between showing signs of autism and receiving a diagnosis. That’s two to three years of therapy, at an age where early intervention can make a huge difference, that’s lost forever.

Perhaps most importantly, it’s helped countless parents hear the tiny voices of their children finally say, “I love you, Mommy.”

Does The Child Naturally Imitate Play

Imitation is another form of communication, and is a key milestone on the road to verbal speech.

In addition to what Dr. Barbera mentions in her video, other communication signs that a child could have autism in addition to speech delay include a lack of response to their name and/or verbal attempts for attention, babbling and cooing during their first year and then stopping, and being unable to combine words into phrases or sentences .

Dr. Barbera recommends that concerned parents be familiar with milestones and not just those related to language. Self-care and self-regulation skills like feeding oneself and calming oneself are important to note, too. She emphasizes that there is a range in development, however, and not every two-year-old is doing everything. There is no need to panic if your child isnt meeting every milestone, but knowing what milestones they should be meeting can help put you on the right path to understanding what is going on with your child.

According to the CDC, if your child shows the signs Dr. Barbera mentioned and also cant walk, doesnt notice when their caregiver comes and goes, or loses skills at 18 months old, you should contact your pediatrician.

And if your child doesnt use two-word phrases, doesnt know what to do with common items , or doesnt walk steadily at two years old, the CDC recommends you contact your pediatrician.

Learn more in the video below.

Support Research & Therapy

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Early Signs Of Autism In Preschool Kids

You may notice differences in your childs behaviors and communication right before they go to school. Some of these signs may mean that your kid is at risk for autism spectrum disorder. Here are some of the signs listed by CDC:

  • Speaking less than 15 words
  • Seeming confused by the function of everyday items
  • Not responding to their name when called
  • Not walking
  • Has repetitive behaviors like rocking back and forth

Most girls show symptoms in infancy or early childhood. But they may not be recognized.

Some studies suggest that certain symptoms are seen more commonly in boys than in girls. Repetitive behaviors, for instance, may appear more often in boys. They are easier to spot.

In addition, girls deal with ASD differently than boys. They may hide their symptoms or spend more energy on adapting to social norms.

They are more able to form friendships. This may cause ASD to not be determined early on.

Key Warning Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Does My Child Have Autism?, United States

ASD can look quite different depending on the individual, but there are some common signs that support a diagnosis. These characteristics have to do with the areas of social communication impairment, difficulties with social interactions, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. However, keep in mind that children who do not have autism can also have some of these behaviors, so it is important not to rush to conclusions before you consult a professional. As you observe your child’s mannerisms, consider the behaviors that fall under these two categories:

Social Communication and Interaction SkillsFor many parents, the first signs that causes concern are when their child is not developing speech and language skills or expressing interest in interacting with others. Many young children have delayed speech without autism, but there are other forms of social communication and interaction that may indicate signs of autism. A child with autism may use few or no communicative gestures , may may not respond to others attempts to interact with them despite adequate hearing, or could display a blank expression even during emotionally-charged situations. A child may also rarely approach others to share their interests or enjoyment, prefer to play alone even when others show interest in playing with them, or demonstrate a lack of imaginative play skills. A few other signs may include:

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Signs Of Autism In Babies

Some parents recognize autism signs when their child is 6-12 months old, depending on the symptoms and their severity. Pay attention to whether or not the baby is reacting to social information and the environment. Within the first year of life, babies start to babble and use gestures like pointing, says Dr. Frazier, adding that babies may also smile at their caregivers. Baby noises should have some social function as well, and they should try communicating with parents. Babies with autism sometimes fail to communicate through sounds or gestures, and may not respond to social stimulation.

Here are other early signs of autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

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Nancy Wiseman had a feeling early on that something wasn’t quite right with her daughter. When Sarah was 6 months old, she stopped babbling, and by 10 months, she was silent. By 18 months, the increasingly aloof toddler no longer responded to her name, and she resisted being held, kissed, or touched. “I felt that I was losing my child a little more each day,” says Wiseman, of Merrimac, Massachusetts. When Sarah wasn’t saying any words or even making sounds that resembled words by 20 months, her grandmother, a school psychologist, suspected that the girl might actually be deaf. Instead, Wiseman was devastated to learn that her daughter had autism. “The diagnosis really knocked the wind out of me,” she recalls, “but I was relieved to finally know what was wrong.”

There are many unanswered questions,” says Alice Kau, Ph.D., an autism expert at the National Institutes of Health, which funded more than $74 million in autism research in 2002, as compared with only $22 million in 1997. Still, researchers are beginning to make progress in unraveling this baffling disorder, and the number of resources available for families is increasing. Here, six facts about autism that every parent should know.

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Autism Is A Genetic Disorder

Although autism was once believed to be the result of improper parenting, researchers now believe that genesnot psychological factorsare to blame. In fact, a 2019 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that 80% of autism risk comes from inherited genetic factors. The study was widespread, looking at 2 million people from five countries .

If a couple has one child with autism, there is a 5 to 10 percent chance that siblings will have some sort of autistic disorder. With identical twins, the likelihood is 60 percent. Even though profoundly autistic people rarely have children, researchers often find that a relative has mild autistic symptoms or a high-functioning autism-spectrum disorder.

Experts believe that autism is the result of multiple genes anywhere from three to 20 interacting with each other. This may explain why the symptoms and severity of the disorder vary greatly. These genes may cause a baby’s brain to develop abnormally in utero or make him more susceptible to unknown triggers. “There is probably a combination of genetic and environmental influences,” says Catherine Lord, Ph.D., director of the Center for Autism and Communication Disorders at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Although the genes linked to autism have not yet been pinpointed, intense research is under way.

Early Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Does my child have autism?

Studies have shown that autism can be diagnosed as early as 14 months. It typically appears in the early ages of an individual.

This means that the infants first year is crucial in terms of the diagnosis of the disorder.

Many children with autism spectrum disorder show developmental differences. This can especially be seen in their social and language skills. There are certain developmental milestones babies hit while they are growing up.

Parents and caregivers should observe their childrens behaviors so as to be able to catch the disorder early on.

The 10 early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children can be as follows:

  • Little to no eye contact during infancy,
  • No babbling,
  • Not expressing emotions,
  • Not seeming attached to parents.

Subtle differences caused by autism may appear before the childs first birthday. These differences will be visible in childrens interaction with their surroundings.

When 2-months old, babies generally begin to smile at people, coo, and are able to pay attention to faces. This may not be the case for children with autism spectrum disorder. By 6 months, if a baby

  • doesnt smile,
  • doesnt smile as big,
  • is not showing any other warm, joyful, and engaging expressions

It may be a sign of autism spectrum disorder.

By 9 months, children with ASD:

  • make limited or no eye contact with anyone
  • dont share sounds,
  • dont smile back-and-forth with parents.

Before their first birthday, babies on the autism spectrum,

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