How Is Autism In Women Treated
While theres no cure for autism, medications can help to manage certain related symptoms or disorders that may co-occur.
But medication is only one aspect of autism treatment. There are many types of physical, occupational, and talk therapies that can help you better interact with the world around you and manage your symptoms.
Autism Symptoms And Diagnosis In Adults
The mean age of autism diagnosis in the US and UK is 4 to 5, though later diagnoses do occur . Age at diagnosis depends upon variables such as symptom severity, socioeconomic status, and initial parental concerns or misidentification of symptoms as behavioral issues 60065-4/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> Shattuck et al., 2009). Typically individuals with more severe symptom challenges receive an autism diagnosis early in life compared to those with subtle symptomatic differences . Those diagnosed later in life are thought to have less severe symptoms and a higher likelihood of reaching self-sufficiency and functionality . However, this successful adaptation to symptoms often masks an autism diagnosis and leaves many of these individuals to experience ASD-related health issues without understanding the root cause .
How Is Autism Diagnosed
Fortunately, the way autism is diagnosed has changed and improved over the last 80 years.
We now recognise a wider range of signs and characteristics as forming part of the autism spectrum.
As awareness increases, parents and professionals are getting better at identifying early signs of autism and are more likely to seek an autism assessment.
This explains why people think autism is more prevalent today than it was ten or twenty years ago.
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Success In Autistic Adults
While it’s relatively rare, quite a few adults with diagnosed autism are moderately to extremely successful people. Some are happily married and partnered, and many are fully employed.
Quite a few have become role models for young adults on the spectrum who hope to live full, independent lives. Just a few such role models include:
- Temple Grandin, animal husbandry expert, author, and public speaker
- Stephen Shore, author, musician, professor, public speaker
- John Elder Robison, author, and public speaker
- Dan Ackroyd, actor, singer, radio personality
- Daryl Hannah, actor
These individuals and with many others are active autism advocates. Many speak publicly about their experiences and offer resources and insights both to autistic adults and to their family members.
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:
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Autism In Women: Whats Different And What To Look Out For
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For decades, healthcare was based on viewing men as the standard body type. Many studies, areas of research and assessments werent separated by gender which meant much of healthcare focused on how disabilities, diseases and treatments impacted men. However, we now know that heart attacks and strokes, for example, impact men differently to women, therefore this gap in knowledge can have devastating consequences for women.
Many studies about Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder has shown that autism presents itself different in women compared to men . This blog aims to outline what we understand about autism in women, including typical signs of autism in adults, common traits and getting a diagnosis.
What Does Autism Look Like In Girls
Although every child with autism is different, here are some common characteristics in girls with autism:
- A special interest in animals, music, art, and literature
- A strong imagination
- A desire to arrange and organise objects
- Not wanting to play cooperatively with female peers
- A tendency to âmimicâ others in social situations in order to blend in
- An ability to hold their emotions in check at school, but be prone to meltdowns or explosive behaviour at home
- Strong sensory sensitivities, especially to sounds and touch .
For autistic girls to thrive, itâs important they have access to a timely and accurate diagnosis, and the informed supports that come with it. A delayed or missed diagnosis can impede their education and development, as well as their social and community participation.
While boys with autism are more likely to have outwardly challenging behaviours, girls with autism are more vulnerable to internalising problems.
As our understanding of how autism affects females is still emerging, it is important parents and professionals alike stay updated on the best ways to specifically support girls and women on the spectrum.
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Signs Of Autism In Young Children
Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are usually clear by two or three years old. The range of behaviors and skills covered here may become apparent between two years old and five years old.
Some signs that a child has autism spectrum disorder may include:
- Not expressing emotion or only a limited range of emotions
- Difficulty interpreting different emotions in others
- Not seeming attached to parents
- Lacking interest in playing social games or the company of other children
- Interest in playing with one particular toy or object
- Echolalia, repeating other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s words or phrases
- Repeating own words over and over
- Using formal language and expressions, rather than the slang of their peers
- Not developing language skills at all
- Difficulty toilet training
- Challenging behaviour, such as banging head on wall or picking at skin
- Engages in behavior such as flapping hands, rocking or twirling
Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty interpreting what other people are thinking and feeling, and often miss social cues. A child with autism may not be able to tell the difference between an adult who says Ã¢â¬Åcome hereÃ¢â¬ï¿½ while happy and smiling, and an adult who says Ã¢â¬Åcome hereÃ¢â¬ï¿½ while angry and frowning. This can be confusing and creates the impression the child is not connecting with people.
Autism In Girls: What Are The Signs
Are you a parent with a daughter who you think could be on the autism spectrum? Perhaps you dont know where to start in terms of reaching a diagnosis? Youre not alone.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 54 children in the United States across all ethnic groups and is four times as prevalent in boys than in girls. Various evidence now suggests that this is inaccurate, and more girls are living with ASD than people realize.
ASD is characterized by social communication and social interaction difficulties, according to the DSM-5 classification system. However, research suggests that criteria for diagnosis is based on scientific evidence of autism in boys. As a result, diagnosing girls with autism usually occurs later in their development than it does for males.
Due to this, many girls on the spectrum are left to go through life without the support and help they might need, unsure how to find answers to difficulties they face in their daily living. These challenges, depending on the extent and severity, can cause psychological strain for young girls as well as their families.
To help girls on the spectrum receive an autism diagnosis quicker, it is important for parents to be aware of the possible signs of autism. So, how does autism appear in girls? Lets have a look at this topic and, hopefully, some answers will be offered in this article.
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Difference Of Autism Signs In Boys And Girls
The symptoms of ASD may range from mild to extreme, and there is no definitive list of symptoms that are sure to be shown by each and every child. On top of that, since boys are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder four times more than girls , classic symptoms may be described in a way to refer more to the boys.
The symptoms are generally the same for the both. But, an autistic girl may be:
- hide their feelings better
- good at imitating social behaviors.
This can make the impairs seem much less noticeable compared to the case of boys. Also, the autism traits in girls are reported less by their teachers.
It is important to note that not all children with autism show all of the signs. In addition, many children who actually dont have autism may show a few of the symptoms and signs. That is why professional evaluation is of utmost importance.
There are certain developmental milestones children reach in terms of their language and social abilities. Caregivers should take notice of these milestones. They should observe children closely during the first few years of their lives. These are crucial times in terms of early diagnosis and intervention. Although not reaching a milestone at a specified time or achieving it late does not necessarily mean that the child has autism, it may be a sign of a developmental delay.
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated
ASD is most often a life-long condition. Both children and adults with autism benefit from behavioral interventions or therapies that can teach new skills to address the core deficits of autism and to reduce the core symptoms. Every child and adult with autism is unique. For this reason, the treatment plan is individualized to meet specific needs. It is best to begin interventions as soon as possible, so the benefits of therapy can continue on throughout the course of life.
Many people with ASD often have additional medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal and feeding issues, seizures and sleep disturbances. Treatment can involve behavioral therapy, medications or both.
Early intensive behavioral treatments involves the entire family and possibly a team of professionals. As your child ages and develops, treatment may be modified to cater to their specific needs.
During adolescence, children benefit from transition services that promote skills of independence essential in adulthood. The focus at that point is on employment opportunities and job skill training.
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Living With A Diagnosis
Feel caught off guard by your adult autism diagnosis? It may help to look at your diagnosis as a path to better understanding yourself. You can gain insight on challenging moments from your childhood or teen years, for example, or any relationship problems youve experienced as an adult.
Every adult with ASD has both unique challenges to overcome and unique strengths to draw upon. However, there are some common challenges to address, including difficulty building or maintaining relationships, social isolation, managing mood disorders, and staying organized.
Even if you havent received a formal diagnosis, if you suspect you have ASD, you can begin to take steps to improve your life. The following tips and strategies can help.
Early Signs Of Autism In A 2 Year Old
If you feel like your 2-year-old doesnt seem to be catching up with their development milestones, you may start looking for certain signs of autism spectrum disorder for any delays.Mild symptoms can be mistaken for being shy or the terrible twos.
Here are some red flags that may indicate ASD:
- Doesnt speak more than 15 words,
- Cant walk ,
- Doesnt know functions of household items like fork,
- Doesnt imitate parents actions or words,
- Doesnt use items for their own purposes,
- Doesnt follow simple instructions
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History Of Terminology For Mild Autism
Back in 1980, “infantile autism” was defined, in all cases, as a severe and disabling disorder. No one with an autism diagnosis would be expected to succeed in school, make friends, or hold down a job.
In 1994, “Asperger’s syndrome” was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . Those with Asperger’s syndrome were characterized as bright, verbal, and highly-functioning, while also demonstrating some autistic behaviors.
In 2013, the diagnostic criteria were changed again when the DSM-5 was published. Asperger’s syndrome is no longer a diagnosis. Instead, the manual provides just one diagnosis for all people with autismautism spectrum disorder . People with autism spectrum disorder may or may not have severe speech delays, sensory processing challenges, specific types of behaviors, or other symptoms.
While people with autism spectrum disorder typically have problems with social communication, these problems range from the extreme to the relatively mild .
Now, a diagnosis of ASD includes a “level of support” from 1 to 3, with 3 describing people who need the most support. However, describing someone as having “Level 1 autism” has not really caught on. Many people have continued to use the term “Asperger’s syndrome,” but even this term doesn’t correlate exactly to high-functioning or mild autism.
Autism Symptoms In Adults At Home
Other peoples feelings baffle you. You have a collection of figurines on your desk that must be in the same order at all times. These, and other common manifestations of ASD, may be apparent in adults at home:
- Your family members lovingly refer to you as the eccentric professor of the family, even though you dont work in academia.
- Youve always wanted a best friend, but never found one.
- You often invent your own words and expressions to describe things.
- Even when youre in a quiet place, like the library, you find yourself making involuntary noises like clearing your throat over and over.
- You follow the same schedule every day of the week, and dont like unexpected events.
- Expressions like, Curiosity killed the cat or Dont count your chickens before they hatch are confusing to you.
- You are always bumping into things and tripping over your own feet.
- In your leisure time, you prefer to play individual games and sports, like golf, where everyone works for themselves instead of working toward a common goal on a team.
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Early Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
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,
Do Symptoms Of Autism Change Over Time
For many children, symptoms improve with age and behavioral treatment. During adolescence, some children with ASD may become depressed or experience behavioral problems, and their treatment may need some modification as they transition to adulthood. People with ASD usually continue to need services and supports as they get older, but depending on severity of the disorder, people with ASD may be able to work successfully and live independently or within a supportive environment.
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Signs Of Autism In Girls
The ratio of boys to girls diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is 4:1. However, there is some evidence that autism is going undiagnosed in girls, particularly those who are at the higher functioning end of the spectrum.
There is discussion around whether girls and women with autism may display different symptoms to boys and men, and that the current diagnostic criteria may be biased towards boys and stereotypical male behavior. Girls and women may also be better able to mask difficulties with social interactions than boys, and this may delay a diagnosis. New diagnostic criteria may be needed to assess ASD in girls and women. Past theories, including controversies such as the extreme male brain, may have led to under-referral and under-diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in girls and women.
Signs that a girl may have autism include:
- Difficulties with social interactions however, differences from typical autism symptoms may include:
- Better grasp of emotions and ability to make friends than boys
- May mask lack of intuitive understanding of social situations by repeating role-plays seen in real life or film/television
- May be able to make friends but find difficulty keeping them