What If My Child Has Autism
If your child has signs of autism, Dr. Frazier advises scheduling a visit to your pediatrician right away. Youll discuss developmental concerns, and the doctor will evaluate your baby for autism. We have evidence that suggests the quicker you can get a diagnosis, the earlier you can enroll in developmental and behavioral interventions, says Dr. Frazier.
Best Sensory Toys For Autism
Price: $Youve likely heard of a fidget spinner. The idea with these snap-and-click chains is similar. Theyre a tactile fidget toy that may help reduce stress or anxiety while also increasing your childs focus and attention. Each link of 24 in a chain moves and locks into five different positions while also producing a satisfying clicking noise.Reviewers say these are a hit with their kids with ASD and that many of their little ones like breaking the chains, connecting them, and forming them into bigger shapes.This toy is best for older kids, though. The links may be stiff and difficult to move for small hands, and the pieces of the links are quite small, which could pose a choking hazard for little ones.
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:
Recommended Reading: Key Differences Between Narcissism And Aspergers
Early Signs Of Autism
Landa says the results identified the following early signs of autism that parents and pediatricians should be on the lookout for:
- Abnormalities in initiating communication with others: Rather than asking for help with something, the child may struggle alone without looking around for assistance.
- Impaired ability to initiate and respond to opportunities to share experiences with others: Children with autism may not follow their parents gaze or initiate contact with others.
- Irregularities when playing with toys: Instead of using a toy as it is meant to be used, like picking up a toy fork and pretending to eat with it, the child may do something unusual with the toy.
- Significantly reduced variety of sounds, words, and gestures used to communicate: Compared with typically developing children, children with autism have a much smaller inventory of sounds, words, and gestures that they use to communicate with others.
“For a toddler with autism, only a limited set of circumstances — like when they see a favorite toy, or when they are tossed in the air — will lead to fleeting social engagement,” says Landa.
There are no standardized criteria for diagnosing autism as early as age 1, but Landa says they hope to develop them soon.
Researchers say parents should discuss any of these developmental problems early on with their pediatrician because early treatment can significantly reduce the impairment caused by autism.
How Might My Child React
Your child may be pleased that they now have a better understanding of themselves.
Some children will become concerned that there is something seriously wrong with them which will affect their health. You may need to emphasise that autism is not a disease and no one can die from it. Autism is a life-long condition but with the right support, autistic people can thrive. It may be that your child needs some additional support. For example, your child might have a teaching assistant at school who helps them with tasks they find difficult. You could also point out that your child is good at some things at school which other children need help with.
Be there if your child wants to talk or ask questions. Some children may not want to ask questions face to face. Having a question box, diary or email system can make it easier for some children to ask personal questions. It also gives them more time to process your answer or think of other questions.
Read Also: What Is The Symbol For Autism
Why Should I Tell My Child They Have Autism
If you dont tell your child they have autism, theres a good chance someone else will let it slip, or your child will eventually figure it out themselves, says Kelly Price, a registered psychologist who assesses children for autism in Victoria, B.C. This is particularly true if your child is participating in programs and receiving services for people with autism because the A-word is bound to come up, he adds. You dont want someone else to spill the beans before youve had the opportunity to describe it yourself, he says, adding that its unfair for parents to withhold information about their child from them when they reach a certain age, and their child may feel betrayed if they do so.
Dundon adds that kids may feel ashamed if they find out theyre autistic from someone other than their parents because it may seem like their parents were trying to hide it. She says its important for kids to know that theyre autistic because it helps them understand who they are, particularly in relation to their peers. Kids do sense that theyre different, and not helping them see why isnt okay, she says. It causes distress because they cant fit in, they dont know why things are difficult for them, they feel like theres something wrong with them. When they do find out, its like, Oh, that explains it. But Ive had all of these years of thinking that I was somehow less than my peers and that there was something wrong.
Signs You Can Spot Before A Baby Is 9 Months Old
As your baby grows older, there are new milestones they should be reaching. Failure to reach these milestones can be cause for concern, even if it doesnt guarantee a diagnosis of autism. In addition to smiling in response to being smiled at, there are other reciprocal behaviors you should expect to see in your child.
At 9 months old, typically developing babies will engage in exchanging noises back and forth. They will also show some kind of response to the facial expressions of others. In general, by the time your baby is 9 months old, you should hope to see the very beginnings of social behaviors emerging.
Also Check: Shaun Murphy Actor
Early Signs Of Autism In Infants Toddlers And Preschoolers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1 in 59 school-aged children in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder , a condition characterized by difficulties with social interactions and by behavioral challenges. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls, as girls may be more likely to have symptoms, such as social impairment, that are harder to detect than behavioral issues.
How To Spot Signs Of Autism In Teenagers
This article was co-authored by George Sachs, PsyD. George Sachs is a Licensed Psychologist and the Owner of Sachs Center based in New York, New York. With over ten years of experience, Dr. Sachs specializes in treating ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders in children, teens, and adults. He holds a BS in Psychology from Emory University. Dr. Sachs earned his Doctorate of Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago. He completed his clinical training in Chicago at Cook County Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and the Child Study Center. Dr. Sachs completed his internship and postdoctoral work at the Childrens Institute in Los Angeles, where he supervised and trained therapists in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . He has been trained as a Gestalt Therapist and certified by the Gestalt Associates Training Program of Los Angeles. Dr. Sachs is the author of The Adult ADD Solution, Helping the Traumatized Child, and Helping Your Husband with Adult ADD. He has appeared on the Huffington Post, NBC Nightly News, CBS, and WPIX discussing his holistic approach to ADD/ADHD treatment.There are 32 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 91,087 times.
Recommended Reading: Autism Puzzle Piece Colors Meaning
Prenatal Factors That May Contribute To Autism
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months.
Nutritional deficiencies early in pregnancy, particularly not getting enough folic acid.
The age of the mother and father
Complications at or shortly after birth, including very low birth weight and neonatal anemia
Maternal infections during pregnancy.
Exposure to chemical pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, while pregnant.
More research on these prenatal risk factors is needed, but if youre pregnant or trying to conceive, it cant hurt to take steps now to reduce your babys risk of autism.
Reducing the risk of autism: Tips for expectant mothers
Take a multivitamin. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Its not clear whether this will also help reduce risk of autism, but taking the vitamins cant hurt.
Ask about SSRIs. Women who are taking an SSRI should talk with a clinician about all the risks and benefits of these drugs. Untreated depression in a mother can also affect her childs well-being later on, so this is not a simple decision to make.
Practice prenatal care. Eating nutritious food, trying to avoid infections, and seeing a clinician for regular check-ups can increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy child.
Source: Harvard Health Publications
When Should I Tell My Child
This is your decision. Some parents tell their children about their diagnosis when they’re quite young , as their son or daughter becomes aware of their differences and starts to ask questions. Other parents wait until their child is slightly older, as they feel they will understand the diagnosis better. You may want to ask your childs school or specialist psychologist to support you with your decision and approach.
Also Check: Does Jerry Seinfeld Have Autism
Rarely Shares Enjoyment With You
Babies readily share enjoyment with you by smiling or laughing and looking at you.
Some children with autism smile to show theyre happy but dont their enjoyment.
Others show little facial expression or have flat affect and rarely smile so you may not know when theyre happy.
If your baby rarely shares enjoyment with you, especially when youre available to interact, this can be an early sign of autism.
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
Read Also: Aspergers Narcissistic Personality Disorder
The Early Signs Of Autism Unfold From 9 To 16 Months
The early signs of autism are easy to miss. Autism can be diagnosed by 18-24 months but its not usually diagnosed until 4-5 years.
This article illustrates 16 early signs of autism that unfold from 9-16 months to help you detect autism before it’s usually diagnosed.
Diagnosing autism can be difficult because there are no medical or blood tests. The diagnosis is based on behavioral symptoms or features.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for autism at 18 and 24 months. Autism can be diagnosed by 18-24 months, but its not usually diagnosed until 4-5 years.
The early signs of autism can have a cascading effect on brain development and lead to significant social, language, and cognitive deficits, as well as challenging behaviors, if theyre not caught early.
Little Pointing Or Gesturing
Babies usually learn to gesture before they learn to talk. In fact, gesturing is one of the earliest forms of communication. Autistic children generally point and gesture much less than children with nonautistic development. Less pointing can sometimes indicate the possibility of a language delay.
Another indicator of a developmental difference is when an infants gaze doesnt follow you when youre pointing at something. This skill is sometimes called joint attention. Joint attention is often decreased in autistic children.
Recommended Reading: Puzzle Symbol Meaning
Signs Of Speech And Language Difficulties
- Speaks in an atypical tone of voice, or with an odd rhythm or pitch .
- Repeats the same words or phrases over and over, often without communicative intent.
- Responds to a question by repeating it, rather than answering it.
- Uses language incorrectly or refers to him or herself in the third person.
- Has difficulty communicating needs or desires.
- Doesnt understand simple directions, statements, or questions.
- Takes what is said too literally .
Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty with speech and language. Often, they start talking late.
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:
Also Check: How To Improve Sitting Tolerance In Autism
Classic Sign Of Autism Appears In Early Infancy Study Says
by Virginia Hughes / 6 November 2013
Baby boys who will later be diagnosed with autism show a loss of interest in other peoples eyes between 2 and 6 months of age, according to a study published today in Nature1. This is the earliest behavioral marker of autism found to date.
The researchers found that the steeper the decline in eye fixation over the first two years of life, the greater the level of social and communication impairment at 2 years old.
Now we know that it is possible to develop a quantitative assay in early infancy that is predictive of both autism and level of social disability, says lead investigator Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
The study is the latest in a surge of research on the younger siblings of children with autism, dubbed baby sibs, who have a one in five chance of developing the disorder.
Researchers have found that some baby sibs have distinctive brain-wave patterns and a loss of interest in faces beginning as early as 6 months of age. The new study uncovers changes in brain development even earlier.
Were most excited about the fact that these are some of the earliest signs of autism weve ever observed, says co-investigator Warren Jones, director of research at the Marcus Autism Center. Were measuring what babies see, but more importantly, what they dont see.
Unusual Reaction To Sounds Sights Or Textures
Babies with autism can show unusual reactions or be very sensitive to certain sounds, sights, or textures. They may get overly excited about a page in a book or hold their hands over their ears in response to loud sounds, squint or flap their hands to certain lights, gag when they eat food with certain textures, or get upset about a tag in a shirt or something sticky or gooey.
If your child shows unusual reactions to sounds, sights, or textures, this may be an early sign of autism.
You May Like: Best Dogs For Children With Autism
Talking To Your Neurotypical Children About Autism
It is important to explain things to your neurotypical child in a way that is appropriate with their stage of development. You should be honest and encourage open dialogue and questions, and answer them in ways that will let them understand why there might be different rules or activities for them and their siblings. From there, you can clarify why they are just as important and loved as their siblings.
Similarly, working to create an inclusive family and sibling relationship for daily activities and playtime is highly recommended. It will promote healthy habits and conversation for a life of mutual acceptance and support between family members.
What Is Joint Attention
Problems with joint attention are one of the most early and common signs of ASD. Joint attention is when your child looks back and forth between an object and a person. When a child does this to share interest and interact with another person, he develops skills that help him connect with other people. Most children with ASD have delays in joint attention skills, or they dont have any joint attention skills.
These are examples of how children with ASD may show different joint attention skills:
You May Like: Average Lifespan Of An Autistic Person