S To Take If You Believe A Teenager Has Autism
If you think your teenager has autism, is it important for you to carry out research. Sites such as Child Autism UK can help you better understand the condition and the steps to take next.
You should also contact their special educational needs coordinator to discuss the symptoms. It is also important to speak to your GP who can provide medical advice and referrals where necessary.
Could My Child Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental condition that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Catching autism spectrum disorder early can lead to improved quality of life. By recognizing the early signs and symptoms, you can get your child the help he or she needs to learn, grow and thrive.
Autism spectrum disorder symptoms
Some children show signs of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Others develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they’ve already acquired. Signs usually are seen by age 2.
Each child with autism spectrum disorder is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior and level of severity from low-functioning to high-functioning.
Some children with the disorder have difficulty learning, and some have signs of lower than normal intelligence. Other children have normal to high intelligence they learn quickly, yet have trouble communicating and applying what they know in everyday life and adjusting to social situations. Because each child can have a unique mixture of symptoms, severity sometimes can be difficult to determine. It’s generally based on the level of impairments and how they affect the ability to function.
Social communication and interaction
Patterns of behavior
When to seek help
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How Can I Spot Signs Of Autism
The earlier treatment for autism spectrum disorder begins, the more likely it is to be effective. Thatâs why knowing how to identify the signs and symptoms is so important.
Make an appointment with your childâs pediatrician if they donât meet these specific developmental milestones, or if they meet but lose them later on:
- Smiles by 6 months
- Imitates facial expressions or sounds by 9 months
- Coos or babbles by 12 months
- Gestures by 14 months
- Speaks with single words by 16 months and uses phrases of two words or more by 24 months
- Plays pretend or âmake-believeâ by 18 months
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Abnormal Language And Speech Patterns
There are a variety of different communication symptoms associated with Aspergers syndrome. Taking what people say literally, as already discussed, is just one of them. Another one is having an usual style of speaking, which can sound formal and scripted, almost robot-like.
People with the condition may also use complex words or phrases, even if they dont fully understand what they mean. eMedicineHealth.com adds that they may have trouble moderating volume, intonation, inflection, rate, and rhythm of speech as well. And, when engaging in conversations, they may not know when it is their turn to speak, resulting in them frequently interrupting others.
The Way We Talk About Autism
Claire thinks it helped that her son knew when he was young. She says her household is very relaxed, so Elliot had a safe space and didn’t feel much different following his diagnosis.
As he approaches 20, Claire says Elliot “doesn’t really care” about being autistic because it “doesn’t change who he is.”
“He didn’t have many questions following his diagnosis, as we’ve always been honest about the fact that he is different, and we viewed it as a positive.”
She likes to reinforce the positives about Elliot. She has explained that, just as people in wheelchairs need adjustments, it’s normal for autistic people to need them too.
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What Advances Have Been Made In Recent Years Regarding Diagnosis And Treatment
In recent years, Neurology has made remarkable efforts for early detection, before the age of 2-3 years, which has allowed early stimulation and improvement of the autistic behaviors they present. Another advance is the progressive training of family members to know how to intervene at home and improve their daily lives, through professionals and associations.
Current genetic studies, available in hospitals, only allow diagnosis in one third of cases.
However, there is still no curative treatment, only palliative treatment of disruptive behaviors through the use of specific drugs when necessary.
A Parent Mariam Narrated:
âI thought Isaac had autism very young too. He never looked at my face, ever, even while breastfeeding. He was blank, never copied anything or really responded to me, he would just wave his hands in front of his eyes continually all day.He would eat, sleep and just sit there. I remember a friend coming to visit when the twins were around five months. She picked up one baby and chatted and played with her and she smiled, laughter and played. She picked up Isaac and he showed no interest and she said it was like holding a childs doll. I knew right away then something was not right.Both mine were delayed in meeting milestones but unlike Isaac I was convinced Naomi was fine right up until she started nursery. She was a very late walker at 2 and a half but talked, gave eye contact and played.I was shocked when a senior health visitor who was using my twins as a case study for her autism degree spoke to me and suggested Naomi was tested too. My biggest concern back then was her silence in nursery and I naively thought she was just missing her twin brother and her mum!I was heartbroken at Isaacs diagnosis. His report stated severe autism with significant global developmental delay and pica. I knew he would never recover and if truth be told, it felt like a death sentence to me as all my hopes for my son vanished in one appointment.â
Communication: Early Signs Of Autism
In the first year of life, childrens social and communication development is an important area to watch for early signs of autism. Social and communication development includes things like learning to smile, make eye contact, and use gestures.
Social interaction and communicationIf young children are autistic, they might:
- not consistently use eye contact to get someones attention for example, they might not always look at you and then at a snack to show you they want it, or not look back towards you when they see something that excites them
- rarely point to or hold up objects to show you things for example, they might not point to a dog and look back at you to make sure youve seen it too, or they might drop a toy in your lap and walk away instead of holding it up and looking at you
- not consistently respond to their name being called
- not consistently use gestures on their own for example, they might not wave bye-bye or clap without being told to, or without copying someone else whos waving or clapping
- not consistently smile at you or other familiar people without you smiling at them first
- rarely copy other peoples actions, like combing their hair when you do it
- not sound like theyre having a conversation with you when they babble
- not understand simple, one-step instructions for example, Give me the block or Show me the dog.
Relationships and playIf young children are autistic, they might:
Breaking Through The Barriers Of Asd
ASD has no cure. But there is hope through treatment. Many children can learn to communicate and interact. Healthcare providers and mental health experts have learned a lot about how to break through to these children.
Here are some things we know about children with an ASD:
They may not be able to understand your nonverbal communications. They may not react to your smile or frown.
They take things literally. You need to be careful to say exactly what you mean. If you hurry the child by saying “Step on it,” don’t be surprised if he or she asks what to step on.
They may only be able to handle one thought or idea at a time. Keep conversations focused and simple.
They may want to only talk about the one thing they are really interested in at a given time.
They may see things differently than you do. You may not even notice ordinary sounds, tastes, touches, smells, and sights. But these may be physically painful to the child.
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Focus On Your Child Not Staring Bystanders
Meltdowns for any child can get noisy, but they tend to go to a whole other level of loud when its an autistic child.
These outbursts can feel embarrassing to parents when were in public and everyone is staring at us.
We feel the judgment from some saying, Id never let my kid act like that.
Or worse, we feel like our deepest fears are validated: People think were failing at this whole parenting thing.
Next time you find yourself in this public display of chaos, ignore the judgmental looks, and quiet down that fearful inner voice saying youre not enough. Remember that the person who is struggling and needs your support the most is your child.
New Symptoms That May Appear During Adolescence
Autistic children can often find adolescence very difficult. Although they have the same hormones as all other teenagers, they dont naturally develop complex relationships and arent able to interpret or engage in the more types of relationships which develop as children get older. They can be prone to isolation and low moods, which can appear very intense and be difficult to read.
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Dont Be Afraid To Try Something New
Horse therapy, social skills groups, swim lessons, music, art there may not be a strong research base for all of these programs, but if your child is happy and successful in them, keep it up! Not every therapy has to be about data and progress recreation and leisure may be just as important to a well-rounded childs development.
How Should I Tell My Child They Have Autism
1) Integrate autism into everyday conversation
If your child is diagnosed young, say as a toddler or preschooler, the experts recommend integrating autism into everyday conversation right from the start. Smith says parents can do this when the child is receiving autism interventions, attending social events for children with autism or watching TV or reading books that feature autistic characters. Its as simple as saying, Were going to the doctor today because you have autism, or Julia from Sesame Street is autistic like you.
Rather than avoiding the A-word, its just a matter of fact in family life, Smith says. There often isnt a need to be direct about telling them because theyll grow up knowing that word, and that its something characteristic of them.
Some families prefer talking about the differences in how their child thinks and perceives things before introducing the word autism, says Dundon, and thats totally fine. She recommends mentioning differences or autism in the context of a childs strength and challengesor by highlighting similarities and differences to others. For instance, Your autistic brain is really sensitive to those noises, or, Your brain works a bit differently than your brothers because you are autistic.
2) Set the stage for a positive conversation
Arnold suggests thinking about where the great conversations in your family happenwhether its around the dinner table, on a long car ride or curled up in bedand doing it there.
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How Is Autism Treated
Currently there is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. Some symptoms can be treated with medication. 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.
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How Autism Is Diagnosed
In order to get an accurate diagnosis, you need to consult several medical professionals. This is not something that will be done in one appointment at your childs pediatrician. There will be a team of medical professionals that will be evaluating your child. The earlier you have your child evaluated, the more likely you will find viable treatment options for your child.
You can’t diagnose your own child. Sometimes, as a parent, you have a gut instinct that theres something thats not right. If you feel that your child is having some issues, and the physician disagrees, find another physician. You must be the voice for your child. On the other hand, if your doctor says not to worry, then perhaps you might avoid comparing your child with others. Every child is an individual who will grow and develop at their own pace. They may be late reaching some milestones while they excel at others.
Learning whether or not your child has autism is a process. This diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for both you and your child. Once you have gotten the diagnosis, you can begin treatment. On the other hand, if your child is not diagnosed with autism, you can move on to find out what is causing your childs issues.
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So The First Question When Should You Tell A Child Theyre Autistic
Opinions on this issue range between those who dont want my child to have a label to those who think children should be told pretty much on the day of their ultrasound. My opinion is neither.
Four and a half years ago, in the first version of this article, I believed it depended entirely on the individual. I still believe this. What works for one autistic person may not work for another, because were all different to each other for the same reason that non-autistic people are.
So, as always with my articles, read the advice and apply it to your own circumstances however you see fit.
What I will say though, is that I used to believe that if a child had a positive level of self-esteem, was happy being different and didnt need to know about their autism, it was best to leave it until they did. This has changed.
I no longer believe there are good reasons to avoid telling a child about their autism, and I believe that hiding a diagnosis from an autistic child can cause far more problems than it solves. This is, of course, as long as the news is delivered well and as long as the child is emotionally mature enough to understand the explanation.
I have three main points I wish to make, followed by a nice Carroll diagram at the end.
What Are The Tell
Autism spectrum disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. It can be seen in all groups of age. The Centers for Disease Control states that the disorder does not discriminate between racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Oftentimes, certain severe forms of ASD are diagnosed before the child turns two. However, high-functioning individuals may not be recognized and diagnosed until later ages in their lives.
- The level of science,
- Knowledge on autism spectrum disorder itself at the time,
- Lack of social and economic means they had,
This happens because autistic adults were not diagnosed when they were children.
Since autism spectrum disorder is still, in part, a mystery, studies generally focus on where the disorder stems from to figure out how it occurs in the first place. This has caused the focus to be on children. The adults who have never been diagnosed in their lives were partially left out in the research sphere.
However, in recent years, awareness of autism spectrum disorder in adults has increased significantly. This is due to the fact that the public is now aware of the signs and understands that a diagnosis can be made even later in life of a person.
Autism spectrum disorder impacts three main areas in an individuals life: the social aspect, communication, and their behaviors.
Since we understand autism more and more every day, we are now able to differentiate and diagnose more adults with ASD.
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How Does Autism In Children Look Like
Many researches have been conducted to study the changes in behavioral, social and physical characters of an autistic child and how do they distinguish them from other normal children. The attributes of an autistic child vary based on the severity of the condition. But the attributes are clearly visible at certain ages and demand to be diagnosed.
Specific attributes of children that distinguish them from the unaffected children.
If your child suffers from autism, you will witness these noticeable attributes in your child.
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Behavior Signs Of Autism In Children
Autistic childrens behavioral signs are typically the most widely known, but sometimes they arent as widely understood.
We do have certain behavior signs of autism in children to watch for, but its important to also see where this behavior may come from.
Autistic children may have repetitive behaviors like flapping their arms or tapping their feet. These behaviors are called stimming.
We stim because it helps us calm down, show our excitement, show that were overwhelmed, and more.
You may also notice that your child seems to resist physical contact.
Physical stimulation can be extremely overwhelming for autistic children, so often theyre okay with physical contact if they initiate but not when others initiate.
Autistic children may also struggle to transition between activities.
Our brains can hyperfocus on what were working on, so when were expected to stop that and move to another activity it can lead to meltdowns.
Another behavior sign of autism in children is that they may not seem aware of dangers in their environment.
You might see your child bolt or run out into the road, seemingly unaware that a car could hit them at any time.
Autistic children also may become physically aggressive when frustrated.
Its vital to know that autism does not make a child violent, but when an autistic person is frustrated and cannot communicate their needs, they may respond with aggression.
And finally, autistic children may often rock or bang their head repeatedly.
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