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:
Signs Of Autism In Babies
Some;parents recognize autism signs when their child is 6-12 months old, depending on the symptoms and their severity. Pay attention to whether or not the baby is reacting to;social information and the environment. Within the first year of life, babies start to babble and use gestures like pointing, says Dr. Frazier, adding that babies may also smile at their caregivers. Baby noises should have some social function as well, and they should try communicating with parents. Babies with autism sometimes fail to communicate through sounds or gestures, and may not respond to social stimulation.;
Here are other early signs of autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
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Delayed Language Or Speech
Research shows that young autistic children often say and understand fewer words than children with nonautistic development at 12 months. If a child isnt saying single words by 16 months or isnt using two-word phrases by age 2, its a good idea to talk with a pediatrician.
The National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says language development could be uneven, with exceptional language development in some areas and impairment in other areas.
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Development Of Infants With Early Signs Of Autism
While your baby is growing up, you may wonder if they are developing as they should. There are certain developmental milestones children hit as they grow up.
It is important to keep an eye out for these so that you can see if your child is behind on their development.
- smile at people
- try to look at their parents
- turn their head towards sound
If you notice that your baby is not engaging in such activities, you may want to get your child tested for ASD.
A Parents Guide To Autism Treatment And Support
If youve recently learned that your child has or might have autism spectrum disorder, youre probably wondering and worrying about what comes next. No parent is ever prepared to hear that a child is anything other than happy and healthy, and an ASD diagnosis can be particularly frightening. You may be unsure about how to best help your child, or confused by conflicting treatment advice. Or you may have been told that ASD is an incurable, lifelong condition, leaving you concerned that nothing you do will make a difference.
While it is true that ASD is not something a person simply grows out of, there are many treatments that can help children acquire new skills and overcome a wide variety of developmental challenges. From free government services to in-home behavioral therapy and school-based programs, assistance is available to meet your childs special needs and help them learn, grow, and thrive in life.
When youre looking after a child with ASD, its also important to take care of yourself. Being emotionally strong allows you to be the best parent you can be to your child in need. These parenting tips can help by making life with an autistic child easier.
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Is Early Intervention For Autism Effective
The prevalence of A.S.D. in children has increased over time, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Early intervention can be an effective tool in development, research shows. The power of early intervention comes from the brains neuroplasticity, or ability to change. Neuroplasticity is what allows a person to learn and retain new skills. So the earlier children can begin receiving therapies, the better the chance they have of gaining the skills needed to navigate certain experiences, which can lead to a better quality of life.
In early intervention, children learn how to learn, said Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., the founder and executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. Depending on the child, this could mean learning how to play with toys, take turns, solve problems or avoid tantrums. As children learn how to do these things, the way that people interact with them and talk to them changes, Dr. Landa said.
Those therapies can pave the way to more valuable life experiences, like attending birthday parties, which kids with autism often miss out on, Dr. Lord said. Their lack of experiences is what hurts them, she said. For example, autistic children may not appear interested in an activity so people may stop talking to them or may stop including them.
Tip : Find Help And Support
Caring for a child with ASD can demand a lot of energy and time. There may be days when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or discouraged. Parenting isnt ever easy, and raising a child with special needs is even more challenging. In order to be the best parent you can be, its essential that you take care of yourself.
Dont try to do everything on your own. You dont have to! There are many places that families of children with ASD can turn to for advice, a helping hand, advocacy, and support:
ADS support groups Joining an ASD support group is a great way to meet other families dealing with the same challenges you are. Parents can share information, get advice, and lean on each other for emotional support. Just being around others in the same boat and sharing their experience can go a long way toward reducing the isolation many parents feel after receiving a childs diagnosis.
Respite care Every parent needs a break now and again. And for parents coping with the added stress of ASD, this is especially true. In respite care, another caregiver takes over temporarily, giving you a break for a few hours, days, or even weeks.
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Early Signs Of Autism: Does My Toddler Have It
Written By Melinda Wenner Moyer for Slate
A few columns ago, while attempting to explain why toddlers do crazy things, I mentioned that my 21-month-old son likes to line up his toy cars over and over and over again. A reader highlighted this habit in the comments section and asked whether Id had my son screened for autism. Her implication, I think, was that I should be concernedrepetitive behaviors can be early signs of the developmental disorder, and autism symptoms usually appear before kids turn 2.
Reading her comment, I realized that I had a lot to learn about autism. Sure, we hear about the disorder all the time in the media, but much of what were told is either highly controversial or total hogwash, like the idea the U.S. is in the throes of an autism epidemic or the notion that vaccines cause autism . Maybe I just dont read enough, but I have rarely come across information about how I, as a parent, might identify the signs of autism in my child. And this lack of awareness, if it extends to other parents, could be a problem, because research suggests that some autistic children greatly benefit from early behavioral intervention programs that can boost social and language skills, IQs, independence, and adaptability.
My Son Displayed Signs Of Autism When He Was 6 Months Old
My boy, Justin, got an official autism diagnosis at 17 months from a developmental pediatrician; he received a spectrum diagnosis at a tender age that was very unusual back in 2004. I remember the pronouncement as being anti-climactic. Just a month before, our sons pediatrician had thrust a number of incomplete articles into my hands with the word autism prominently in the title.
Yup, that was a pretty good clue to what was going on with Justin right there.
But the truth is, my mothers inner voice had been wondering about my sons development since he was 6 months old. Sure, he met his milestones and our pediatrician did not seem concerned about him at all. It was more his demeanor , his fairly frequent projectile vomiting that just didnt want to abate, and more importantly, there was the spinning.
When he turned 6 months of age, the spinning became his favorite pastime.
I know. I couldnt make this stuff up if I tried.
I remember walking out of that 16 month visit feeling hollowed out, numb, and terrified all at the same time. I was enraged that hed had concerns and said nothing four months prior. I had only come in because Justins reflux was worse, was he planning on waiting until his 18 month checkup to tell me?
And further still, would he have said anything if my husband had been there?
But he did, and he does. And I am grateful no matter how the divulgence came about that we knew sooner rather than later.
He is our joy.
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Limited Or No Response To Their Name
At 6 months , most infants show an awareness of their own names, especially when its spoken by their mother.
Autistic infants show a developmental difference: By 9 months, many babies who later develop ASD dont orient to their own names. say this usually appears as a pattern of nonresponse, rather than a single instance.
Related Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
While not part of autisms official diagnostic criteria, children with autism spectrum disorders often suffer from one or more of the following problems:
Sensory problems Many children with autism spectrum disorders either underreact or overreact to sensory stimuli. At times they may ignore people speaking to them, even to the point of appearing deaf. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound. Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture. They may cringe at a pat on the back or the feel of certain fabric against their skin.
Emotional difficulties Children with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, they may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior . The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities also notes that kids with ASD may be unfazed by real dangers like moving vehicles or heights, yet be terrified of harmless objects such as a stuffed animal.
Savant skills in autism spectrum disorder
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Rarely Responds To Their Name Of Other Bids
Babies are tuned to listen to your voice when you call their name, they respond by looking toward you.
Babies readily respond to other social bids, like:
- come here with your arms reaching out
- wave bye-bye as youre leaving
- touch your nose
- or look where youre pointing
Some children with autism dont respond by looking where youre pointing but instead look at your hand.
If your baby rarely responds to their name or other bids for social interaction, this can be an early sign of autism.
Autism In A 17 Month Old
What did you do when she slapped/bit you? Did you tell her NO. She needs to know it is not acceptable behaviour. If you are serious and firm, it won’t turn into a game, and she will get the message.
When you point at something, does she look at you pointing or does she follow to where you’re pointing to?
Hi, some of these behaviours sound very similar to my daughter. She never used to stop, hit her head with her hands in frustration, didnt enjoy hugs and spending time with me, would not be restrained and also did and said things repetitively over and over again. It turned out to be a problem with the food she was eating. Completely natural and healthy foods but if she ate them she turned into a different person. A good indicator for me initially was the foods that she constantly pestered for were not agreeing with her. We just started her off on a really simple diet of peas, chicken, potatoes, porridge and drinking only water and milk. Saw a change almost immediately and just added foods in, slowly and one at a time until we figured out what was good and what wasnt! It sounds like a lot but it was totally worth it for us. If you think this could be it I would definitely give the simple diet a go for a few days and see what happens x
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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.
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How Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Play
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to be less spontaneous than other kids. Unlike a typical curious little kid pointing to things that catch their eye, children with ASD often appear disinterested or unaware of whats going on around them. They also show differences in the way they play. They may have trouble with functional play, or using toys that have a basic intended use, such as toy tools or cooking set. They usually dont play make-believe, engage in group games, imitate others, collaborate, or use their toys in creative ways.
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Signs That Your Baby May Have Autism
Most of these are that would show up between the 6 months to 1 year range. Before that, many of these may not show up at all. It is also important to know that any one of these traits on its own is not a diagnosis. If your child is showing a number of these traits over the 6 month period, it is always good to;see a doctor for assessment. Early diagnosis and treatment can really make a difference in skills building later on. Again this list should not be considered a diagnosis, only used as a tool to start a conversation with your doctor who can then start a proper assessment process.
Excessive Interest In Particular Objects Or Activities
Babies readily shift their attention between people and objects creating opportunities to learn from social interaction.
Babies with autism may show excessive interest in particular objects or activities and can get stuck or overly focused on these.
This interest may be so intense that its difficult to shift their attention away from an object of interest to something else.
An intense interest can lead to skills that are advanced for their age, such as building with blocks, or learning the shapes of letters and numbers, and can be missed as a sign of autism.
If your child shows excessive interest in particular objects or activities, this may be an early sign of autism.
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