Thursday, May 16, 2024

How To Check Your Child For Autism

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When Should I Tell My Child They Have Autism

How Do You Know If Your Child Has Autism: Best Treatments

When to tell your child they have autism depends on their age, cognitive ability and social awareness, as well as your readiness to have the conversation, says Arnold. Theres no right age. It depends on the child and the family, she says, adding that its not a one-time conversation but an ongoing process.

In general, though, the experts agree that the earlier you start the dialogue, the better. This doesnt just ensure the news comes from you starting early also allows you to tap into younger kids accepting nature. Its only as kids become older and start to acquire the prejudices of society at large that they see those differences as negative things, Smith says. Starting earlier allows you to help break down the stigma and capitalize on this more positive view that were all different and were all of value.

Dundon recommends setting the stage for the conversation before the assessment even happens. You wouldnt say, Were going to assess if youre autistic, but you might say, Were going to see some people to get a bit more of an idea of how your brain works, she says. Then, after the assessment, you can tell them what the results are.

Some kids will have these thoughts but not express them, so its important to check in with other people involved in your childs care to see if theyve noticed any changes.

How Do You Talk With Your Child About Their Autism Diagnosis

It can be hard to decide what and how much information to share when talking to your child about their autism diagnosis. Setting a positive tone when discussing autism spectrum disorder and making sure you understand what your child is truly asking is very important. Establish a positive attitude about their differences from the outset, then answer their questions simply and honestly. If your child is of reading age, you may want to consider finding some childrens books on the topic of autism spectrum disorder to read with them.

Differences Between Mild And Severe Symptoms

Autism disorders fall along a spectrum of mild to severe. Some children with ASD have advanced learning and problem-solving skills, while others require daily living assistance.

According to the American Psychiatric Associations diagnostic criteria, there are three levels of autism that are defined by how much support a person requires.

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Should I Get My Child Assessed

You should get your child assessed for ASD if:

  • you have concerns
  • you notice any signs or symptoms
  • your child has a close relative with ASD

Normally, your health care provider will test your child first. You can help your health care provider understand the unusual behaviour you see by:

  • taking photographs
  • maintaining logs or diaries
  • capturing these behaviours on video

If there are concerns, then your health care provider should refer you to a specialist for more tests. A specialist is the best person to help diagnose your child.

What Is A Meltdown

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Do you know the signs to look ...

We have all experienced a meltdown ourselves, one time or another. The stress we carry mounting beyond our breaking point. Tears streaming down our cheeks. Our whole body rhythmically joins in with our sobbing.

The feeling is utterly overwhelming.!!!!!!

If we stop and think about how horrible and dreadful of an experience this is for us there might be a few things that we notice:

  • You are doing the best that you can, but it just doesnt feel like enough
  • It wasnt your first reaction. If you think about it, a lot of things added up to a whale of a stressor.
  • Someone else understanding you makes you feel so much better.
  • So, why are we talking about you? Well, because this is true for your child too..

    The difference is that their brain and their body just cant handle as much as most of the people that you know.

    A meltdown is when stress has mounted and can no longer be managed. Yep, the pot has overflowed and you have a front row seat.

    Youre viewing your childs stress erupting like a pressurized bottle of tabasco sauce. Hot, messy, and impossible to get back into the bottle.

    Recommended Reading: What’s The Difference Between Autistic And Autism

    Answer The Five Questions At The End Of This Post And If You Answer No To Two Or More Begin Early Intervention Right Away But First Here Are Some Early Warning Signs Of Asd

    Early Warning Signs: First Year

    Even young infants are very social, so its possible to detect signs of autism in how babies interact with their world. At this age, a child with an ASD may:

    • Not turn to a mothers voice
    • Not respond to his own name
    • Not look people in the eye
    • Have no babbling or pointing by age one
    • Not smile or respond to social cues from others

    Babies who do not have autism can have these behaviors, too, but it’s best to contact your doctor right away with any concerns.

    At 12 Months

    • A child with typical development will turn his head when he hears his name.
    • A child with ASD might not turn to look, even after his name is repeated several times, but will respond to other sounds.

    At 18 Months

    • A child with delayed speech skills will point, gesture, or use facial expressions to make up for her lack of talking.
    • A child with ASD might make no attempt to compensate for delayed speech or might limit speech to parroting what is heard on TV or what she just heard.

    At 24 Months

    • A child with typical development brings a picture to show his mother and shares his joy from it with her.
    • A child with ASD might bring her a bottle of bubbles to open, but he does not look at his mom’s face when she does or share in the pleasure of playing together.

    ASD at any age might include the following signs:

    • Repeated motions
    • Avoiding eye contact or physical touch
    • Delays in learning to talk
    • Repeating words or phrases
    • Getting upset by minor changes

    How Parents Can Spot The Warning Signs

    As a parent, youre in the best position to spot the earliest warning signs of autism. You know your child better than anyone and observe behaviors and quirks that a pediatrician, in a quick fifteen-minute visit, might not have the chance to see. Your childs pediatrician can be a valuable partner, but dont discount the importance of your own observations and experience. The key is to educate yourself so you know whats typical and whats not.

    Monitor your childs development. Autism involves a variety of developmental delays, so keeping a close eye on whenor ifyour child is hitting the key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones is an effective way to spot the problem early on. While developmental delays dont automatically point to autism, they may indicate a heightened risk.

    Take action if youre concerned. Every child develops at a different pace, so you dont need to panic if your child is a little late to talk or walk. When it comes to healthy development, theres a wide range of typical. But if your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or you suspect a problem, share your concerns with your childs doctor immediately. Dont wait.

    Regression of any kind is a serious autism warning sign

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    Make An Appointment With A Health Professional

    If you think your child has autism, its good to act quickly and make an appointment with a professional. For example, you could talk to your child and family health nurse, your GP or a paediatrician.

    Its a good idea to write down your concerns, including examples of what youve noticed and any concerns that your childs early childhood education service or school has raised. You can share this information with the health professional.

    If the professional doesnt have any concerns about your child, but youre still worried, its OK to ask for a second, or even third, opinion from another professional.

    You can monitor your childs social communication behaviour and interaction using the ASDetect app. It gives clear examples of what to expect in the early stages of your childs social and language development.

    How Accurate Is It

    Muscle testing for your child with Autism

    This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by licensed healthcare professionals. If youd like to learn more about autism read Psycoms guide to autism spectrum disorder .

    Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.

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    Who Tells/where To Tell

    Certainly circumstances vary from family to family. If your child is asking questions dont put off answering them. You should be forthcoming and not suggest talking about it later. Not providing an answer could increase the childs anxiety and make the topic and information more mysterious.

    For many families, using a knowledgeable professional to begin the disclosure process instead of a family member or a friend of the family might be the best option. Having a professional involved, at least in the beginning stages of disclosure, leaves the role of support and comfort to the family and those closest to the child. For someone with an autism spectrum disorder, it can be especially hard to seek comfort from someone who gives you news that can be troubling and confusing. Having a professional whose role is clearly to discuss information about the childs diagnosis and how the disability is affecting his/herlife can make it easier for family members to be seen by the child as supportive. The professional discussing information with the child about his/her disability can also help the parents understand the childs reaction and provide suggestions for supporting their child. Having a professional involved also allows the use of a location outside of the family home for beginning this process.

    Amanda Wants To Protect Her Kid From Prejudice

    My friend Amanda* was getting a haircut recently when she overheard a conversation in which a young man was described as “either retarded or autistic”.

    Amanda says these attitudes are the reason she has not told her daughter Evie that she is autistic.

    “I am afraid of people judging her not as a person but as a diagnosis,'” says Amanda.

    “I don’t think everyone is compassionate, and people might not be open to getting to know her.”

    Amanda is also concerned Evie will think differently about herself and this could limit her potential.

    “If she said, ‘I feel different’, then I would tell her,” Amanda says.

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    Can A Child Be Slightly Autistic

    A child can be mildly autistic. Every child with autism spectrum disorder is unique and so symptoms may differ in severity and range between individuals. Children diagnosed as mildly autistic are unable to understand the body language or emotions of the people around them, but they do have normal intelligence and can conduct their daily activities.

    How To Get Your Child With Autism To Wear A Face Mask During The Coronavirus Pandemic

    Online Autism Test For Toddlers To Know The Early Signs Of ASD

    May 5, 2020

    With the recent Center for Disease Control and Preventionâs recommendation to wear a cloth face covering when in the community, many parents are left wondering âHow am I ever going to get my child to wear a mask?â Many children with Autism experience sensory issues, making wearing a mask more difficult. If you think it might be difficult for your child to tolerate wearing a mask, check out the strategies below.

    Maggie Imlay

    AnswersNow BCBA

    With the recent Center for Disease Control and Preventionâs recommendation to wear a cloth face covering when in the community, many parents are left wondering âHow am I ever going to get my child to wear a mask?â Many children with Autism experience sensory issues, making wearing a mask more difficult. If you think it might be difficult for your child to tolerate wearing a mask, check out the strategies below.

    How to increase the likelihood your child will be willing put a mask on:

    • Make a game of it!
    • Pretend you are superheroes who need to put on their masks to save the day.
    • Play peekaboo and make silly faces.
    • Explain to your child why they need to wear a mask. Social stories can be a very useful tool. See the YouTube links below:

    Wearing a Mask-A Social Narrative for Children

    We Wear Masks, A Social Story About the Coronavirus

    Step-by-Step Guide: How to put on your own mask:

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    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Asd

    Every person with ASD is unique, so the timing and severity of the first signs and symptoms can vary widely. Some children with ASD show signs within the first few months of life. In others, symptoms may not become obvious until 24 months or later. Some children with ASD appear to develop normally until around 18 to 24 months of age and then stop gaining new skills and/or start losing skills.

    During infancy , a child may show symptoms that include:

    • Limited or no eye contact
    • No babbling
    • Appearing not to hear
    • Playing with toys in an unusual or limited manner
    • Showing more interest in objects instead of people
    • Starting language skills but then stopping or losing those skills
    • Showing repetitive movements with their fingers, hands, arms or head

    Up to 2 years of age, there may be continuing symptoms from infancy. A child may also:

    • Focus only on certain interests
    • Be unable to have reciprocal social interactions
    • Move in unusual ways, such as tilting their head, flexing their fingers or hands, opening their mouth or sticking out their tongue
    • Have no interest in playing with other children
    • Repeat words or phrases without appearing to understand them
    • Have behavioural issues, including self-injury
    • Have trouble controlling their emotions
    • Like to have things a certain way, such as always eating the same food

    Possible signs of ASD at any age:

    Who Should Know If A Kid Is Autistic

    Ms Forbes says it’s the individual’s choice who they share their autistic identity with.

    Dr Attwood believes that for young kids, we should share a diagnosis only with those who need to know, such as teachers and grandparents. He says other kids don’t need to know.

    Instead of sharing the diagnosis widely, Dr Attwood suggests talking about autism “without mentioning the A-word”.

    “The child may say, ‘I’m the sort of person who is not very good at reading signals that show you’re bored’,” Dr Attwood says.

    “The teacher may say ‘Jacob is the sort of person who finds it hard to share’.

    “The child decides who and when they tell people.”

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    Moving Forward After A Meltdown

    Meltdowns are hard on both you and your child. But, I didnt have to tell you that.

    But you are a parent that is equipped with strategies. You know your child better than anyone else.

    Dont ever doubt that, not even for a second. You have survived every day so far and you have made learning more about your child a priority.

    You explode awesomeness!!

    So the next time that you watch yourself being proactive and you make what could have been a HUGE meltdown into even a minor catastrophe.


    Now tell yourself.I totally nailed it! I do explode awesomeness!! Because you do!

    Need more ideas on how to help your child be calm and focused for the day? Get your FREE printable NOW. 5 Ways to Help Your Child with Autism be Calm and Focused For Their Day Ahead.

    Candice Curtis is a licensed Occupational Therapist and the founder of Integrate Family. Candice has advanced postgraduate training in Ayers Sensory Integration and is a Certified Autism Specialist. Candice also has 2 boys of her own at home, one of which is Autistic. Learn more about her at or listen to her podcast, The Autism and Parenting Podcast, found on all podcast platforms.

    Early Signs Of Autism In Children

    How To Tell Your Child They Are Autistic

    Early diagnosis means early intervention. It helps provide your child a higher quality of life through teaching life skills with therapies and games.

    There are certain signs to look out for while your child is growing up. They hit developmental milestones, indicating that their social, communicative and behavioral developments are on track.

    Here are some of the early signs that your child may need to be further examined and tested by your physician.

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    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

    Signs Of Social Difficulties

    • Appears disinterested or unaware of other people or whats going on around them.
    • Doesnt know how to connect with others, play, or make friends.
    • Prefers not to be touched, held, or cuddled.
    • Doesnt play pretend games, engage in group games, imitate others, or use toys in creative ways.
    • Has trouble understanding feelings or talking about them.
    • Doesnt seem to hear when others talk to them.
    • Doesnt share interests or achievements with others .

    Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorder. Many kids on the autism spectrum seem to prefer to live in their own world, aloof and detached from others.

    Also Check: Can A Child With Autism Have Dyslexia

    Get An Autism Diagnosis

    Arrange an autism assessment for your child as early as you can. A thorough assessment is important for an accurate autism diagnosis. It helps to think of the assessment as a benchmark or starting point for support for your child. You can use the assessment to measure your childs progress.

    For a thorough assessment and a specific autism diagnosis, make an appointment with a professional trained in diagnosing autism, like apsychologist, speech pathologist or paediatrician. You might need a referral from your childs nurse or GP.

    Autism diagnosis is based on observing your child, talking to you and others about your child, and looking at your childs developmental history. It usually involves many health professionals.

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