Restricted Or Repetitive Behaviors Or Interests
People with ASD have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by only problems with social communication and interaction.
Examples of restricted or repetitive interests and behaviors related to ASD can include:
- Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed
- Repeats words or phrases over and over
- Plays with toys the same way every time
- Is focused on parts of objects
- Gets upset by minor changes
- Has obsessive interests
- Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
- Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
Physical Therapy And Occupational Therapy
Some children with ASD experience difficulties with controlling physical actions. For example, they may have an unusual gait or trouble with handwriting. Physical therapy can build your childs motor skills. A focus on posture, coordination, balance, and muscle control can improve a childs social life and sense of well-being.
Occupational therapy helps children with autism build everyday skills that are useful at school or around the home, such as feeding, grooming, and dressing themselves. Similar to physical therapy, occupational therapy can enhance motor skills.
Sessions focus on an individuals unique needs, so your child may also learn to use assistive devices to adapt to situations and complete tasks. Examples of such devices include a speech-to-text app for a child who struggles with handwriting and a dry-erase board for a child who has difficulty with verbal communication.
Who Is This Child Autism Quiz For
Answer the quiz questions below to see if your child could have autism.
Below is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder . Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often your child has experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.
Please be aware that some behaviors are developmentally appropriate for your young child and are not signs of autism.
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My Kid Works Harder Than Any Other Child Her Age
As already mentioned, we do not live in a society that is accommodating to people on the Autism Spectrum. This means that an autistic kid has to work much, much harder; to function just about anywhere they go.; Behind that hard-working kid are parents, teachers, and therapists who are also working hard to help that child. An autistic child acting like their neurotypical peers has not been cured. Hes simply working 100 times harder to keep up, and thats something we should all keep in mind.
How Is Nonspeaking Autism Diagnosed
Diagnosing nonspeaking autism is a multiphase process.
A pediatrician may be the first healthcare professional to screen a child for ASD. Parents, seeing unexpected symptoms such as a lack of speaking, may bring their concerns to their childs doctor.
The medical professional may request a variety of tests that could help rule out other possible causes. These include:
Some pediatricians may refer children to a developmental-behavioral pediatrician. These doctors specialize in treating conditions such as autism.
This medical professional may request additional tests and reports, which could include:
- a full medical history for the child and parents
- a review of the mothers pregnancy and any complications or issues that arose during it
- a breakdown of surgeries, hospitalizations, or medical treatments the child has had since birth
Finally, autism-specific tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis. Several tests, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition and the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, Third Edition , can be used with nonspeaking children.
These tests help healthcare professionals determine if a child meets the criteria for autism.
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Early Treatment Is Crucial
There is no known cure for autism, but intensive therapy helps a child learn a wide range of skills ;from making eye contact to hugging to having a conversation. And the sooner a child begins, the better. A panel of experts convened by the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 recommended that children should have 25 hours of therapy per week as soon as autism is suspected. Because children with autism have very different behaviors and abilities, the most effective approach takes into account a child’s unique challenges and encourages healthy development through play, rather than just trying to change specific symptoms. “Intervention can take many forms, from going to a regular preschool to a parent’s working with her child over the course of a normal day to direct therapies from well-trained teachers and professionals ;all depending on the child,” Dr. Lord says.
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder
In order to determine whether your child has autism spectrum disorder or another developmental condition, clinicians look carefully at the way your child interacts with others, communicates, and behaves. Diagnosis is based on the patterns of behavior that are revealed.
If you are concerned that your child has autism spectrum disorder and developmental screening confirms the risk, ask your family doctor or pediatrician to refer you immediately to an autism specialist or team of specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. Since the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is complicated, it is essential that you meet with experts who have training and experience in this highly specialized area.
The team of specialists involved in diagnosing your child may include:
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a brief process. There is no single medical test that can diagnose it definitively; instead, in order to accurately pinpoint your childs problem, multiple evaluations and tests may be necessary.
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How Is Asd Treated
One of the biggest challenges is finding the most effective form of treatment. The choices seem endless and differentiating one from another can be daunting. Parents often rely on therapists to direct and administer treatment, but many parents want to learn as much as possible so theyre in the best position to help their child. The most common treatments include applied behavioral analysis, relationship-building strategies, speech/language, and occupational therapy, counseling, and social skills groups.
To learn more, read our ASD Overview; article.
Your privacy is important to us. All results are completely anonymous.
When To Seek Medical Advice
Early intervention is very important in children with autism spectrum disorder. Services such as speech therapy and behavioral and skills training are more effective if begun when a child is young.
For this reason, it is helpful to receive a diagnosis as early as possible. However, many children remain undiagnosed until they are in school. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adults.
If you suspect someone has autism, including yourself, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Nonspeaking Autism
The primary symptom of nonspeaking autism is being unable to speak clearly or without interference.
Autistic people may have difficulty talking to or carrying on a conversation with another person, but those who are nonspeaking do not speak at all.
There are several reasons for this. It may be because they have , a disorder that affects certain brain pathways. It can interfere with a persons ability to say what they want correctly.
It may also be because they have not developed verbal communication skills. Some children may lose verbal skills as symptoms of the condition worsen and become more noticeable.
Some autistic kids may also have echolalia, which causes them to repeat words or phrases over and over. It can make communication difficult.
Symptoms of autism often improve with age. As children grow older, symptoms may become less severe and disruptive. Your child may also become verbal with intervention and therapy.
Researchers do not yet know what causes autism. However, they do have a better understanding of some factors that may play a role.
Vaccines do not cause autism.
In 1998, a controversial study proposed a link between autism and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. However, additional research debunked that report. In fact, the researchers behind the 1998 study retracted it in 2010.
What To Do If Youre Worried
If your child is developmentally delayed, or if youve observed other red flags for autism, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician right away. In fact, its a good idea to have your child screened by a doctor even if he or she is hitting the developmental milestones on schedule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive routine developmental screenings, as well as specific screenings for autism at 9, 18, and 30 months of age.
Schedule an autism screening. A number of specialized screening tools have been developed to identify children at risk for autism. Most of these screening tools are quick and straightforward, consisting of yes-or-no questions or a checklist of symptoms. Your pediatrician should also get your feedback regarding your childs behavior.
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Im Not Someone To Pity Simply Because My Child Has Autism
Autistic children are writing books, making films, creating blogs, and making all sorts of other groundbreaking achievements. Yet, when a parent tells someone their child is autistic, they are usually met with an unnecessary apology or look of pity. Autism is not something to be pitied, and our societys outlook should change to reflect that.
Dont Insist On Eye Contact
Adults look one another in the eye when they speak. For children with autism, this is a difficult task. Some children learn to look near your eyes through practice, but some never pick up this skill.;
Never force a child to look into your eyes. Dont bow down to try to meet the childs eyes, and dont point to your own eyes to make the child follow along. Accept the childs behavior.;
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We Need To Hear We Are Doing A Good Job
This is, of course, true of every parent, but it is especially true of parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. Raising a child with autism is a lifelong learning curve. As more and more is learned about the biology of autism, parents must keep up with new therapies and decide if they would be right for their child. For instance, there are new supplements, dietary concerns, and feelings about a new friend or teacher. The list of things to keep parents up at night is a long one.
Our Home Is Safety Proofed
Youre probably familiar with baby proofing a house. But while most families can take down the safety gates and doorknob locks once the child ages, families with children on the Autism Spectrum often have these items and more protecting their child from their homes inherent dangers. This is because many children on the Autism Spectrum are prone to behaviors that can bring about self injury.
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What Causes Autism: 6 Facts You Need To Know
There are lots of frightening rumors about what causes autism, a mysterious brain disorder, in children. We asked leading experts across the country to get you answers.
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.
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.
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What Are The Treatment Options
Treatment for autism focuses on therapies and behavioral interventions that help a person overcome the most difficult symptoms and developmental delays.
Nonspeaking children will likely require daily assistance as they learn to engage with others. Therapies for nonspeaking children will focus on helping them develop language and communication skills. Where possible, healthcare professionals may also try to build speech skills.
Treatment for nonspeaking autism may include:
- Educational interventions. Autistic children often respond well to highly structured and intensive sessions that teach skill-oriented behaviors. These programs help children learn social skills and language skills while also working on education and development.
- Medication. Theres no medication specifically for autism, but certain medications may be helpful for some related conditions and symptoms. This includes anxiety,depression, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Likewise, antipsychotic medications may help with severe behavioral problems, and ADHD medications may help reduce impulsive behaviors and hyperactivity.
- Family counseling. Parents and siblings of an autistic child can benefit from one-on-one therapy. These sessions can help you learn to cope with the challenges of nonspeaking autism.
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.
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Communication Differences In Children With Autism
-Less likely to point at things to indicate needs or share things with others-Says no single words by 15 months or 2-word phrases by 24 months-Repeats exactly what others say without understanding the meaning -May not respond to name being called but does respond to other sounds -May refers to self as you and others as I and may mix up pronouns-May show no or less interest in communicating-Less likely to start or continue a conversation-Less likely to use toys or other objects to represent people or real life in pretend play-May have a good rote memory, especially for numbers, letters, songs, TV jingles, or a specific topic-May lose language or other social milestones, usually between the ages of 15 and 24 months
Early Start Denver Model
ESDM is an approach that works best for 12- to 48-month-olds and follows the practices of ABA. The sessions revolve around natural play and joint activities with therapists and parents. Singing could be used to encourage a child with ASD to vocalize, or a mimicry game could be used to teach the child to identify body parts. ESDM focuses on creating positive social interactions, enhancing communication and cognitive skills in the process.
Its important for you to be involved in your childs ESDM sessions. Fortunately, the sessions are flexible enough to take place at a clinic or in your own home. A therapist can guide you through what you need to know. Studies, including brain scan research, suggest that ESDM improves language and communication skills as well as adaptive behavior.
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Other Signs Of Autism In 4
These signs are usually accompanied by some of the other signs listed above:
ASD encompasses a broad range of signs and symptoms. An autistic child may need minimal support in some aspects of their life and more significant support in other aspects.
An autistic child who needs minimal support may have:
- little interest in social interactions or social activities
- difficulty initiating social interactions or maintaining conversations
- trouble with appropriate communication
- trouble adapting to changes in routine or behavior
- difficulty making friends
An autistic child who needs a moderate amount of support, or who needs daily support, may have:
- difficulty coping with a change to their routine or surroundings
- a significant lack of verbal and nonverbal communication skills
- severe and obvious behavioral challenges
- repetitive behaviors that interfere with their daily life
- an unusual or a reduced ability to communicate or interact with others
- narrow, specific interests
An autistic child who needs significant support on a daily basis may: