Repeats Words And Phrases
Part of speech development is repeating words that we hear. When your baby is first learning words, you will probably read books and point out pictures together. The parent says, Dog, and the child repeats, Dog. The parent points to the fish and says, Fish, and the toddler repeats, Fish. This is normal. But consider a 2-3 year old who repeats arts of your sentences, instead of responding appropriately. Parent: Do you want some juice in your cup? Child: Cup. Parent: Its sunny outside today. Child: Today. This is called echolalia. The child basically echos you, or other people or things that they have heard. They may repeat lines from TV shows or song lyrics, instead of speaking in a conversational manner.
Heightened Sensitivity Or Sensory Aversion
Autism can cause a childs senses to be touchy. A child may enjoy rubbing smooth or soft surfaces, or he may smell everything, Pandey says. But he may not like to be held or cuddled. Everyday sounds might be really hard for them, she says of children with autism. She mentions toilet flushes and vacuum cleaners as common irritants. They might hold their hands up to their ears, she says. A child with autism may also be very sensitive to bright light, according to the Mayo Clinic.
How Is Autism Normally Diagnosed
Getting a diagnosis for a child can be helpful, as it enables parents, as well as others, to understand and support the child better.
Diagnostic assessment can also help to clarify if a child requires any extra support or resources for their special needs. Support from voluntary organization and opportunities to meet parents of children with similar difficulties can also be a source of great support.
The assessment of autism tends to be conducted at child developmental centres or by child and adolescent mental health services by professionals such as paediatricians, psychologists, speech and language therapists or psychiatrists.
It usually involves detailed interviews with the childs parents/carers concentrating on the childs early development and current behaviour, direct play assessment with the child as well as collecting information from the childs nursery or school.
The childs GP can refer them to an appropriate specialist.
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Signs That Your Child Might Have Sensory Processing Disorder
Repetitive Or Restrictive Behaviors
An autistic child who has adopted certain repetitive or restrictive behaviors may exhibit some of these signs:
- performs repetitive motions, such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, or spinning
- persistently or repeatedly lines up toys or other objects in an organized fashion
- gets upset or frustrated by small changes in their daily routine
- has to follow certain routines
- plays with toys the same way every time
- likes certain parts of objects
- has obsessive interests
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Lack Of Emotional Attachment
Some babies on the autism spectrum are very affectionate, so you cant use that to rule out autism. On the other hand, if your baby doesnt have any emotional attachment, it may be cause for concern. If your baby does not like to be cuddled, does not show warmth to you and other loved ones, and does not seem to need you for emotional support, take note. Lack of emotional attachment is one of the early warning signs of autism. My younger was this way. He couldnt STAND to be touched or held from the time he was born until around two and a half years old. It broke my mama heart into pieces, but he has more than made up for it over the last year, with his 180 degree turn! Now he is the most cuddly little thing Ive ever seen!
Is There Any Way To Treat Sensory Processing Disorder
Yes, there are many ways to treat SPD, and the trick is to find the right one or combination of different ones to help your child. Occupational therapists who are skilled at sensory issues can be very helpful. Some things might just need to be left out of the diet, or in the closet until your child is old enough to develop coping mechanisms on their own. The most important thing to remember is that every person with SPD is different and will experience the world in ways that you might not understand. Developing a mutual language around what they are feeling and experiencing will be one of the best tools you can help develop. As Paula Aquilla said:
The key to understanding a persons response to sensation or their need to seek out sensation is to observe with an open mind and without judgement. We can all become detectives to determine possible underlying reasons for a childs response to the sensation we present when we want to interact.
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Early Signs Of Autism In Children
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.
What Can Mimic Autism
Developmental delays such as language, speech, or hearing problems can often be mistaken for autism. There are also a number of specific disorders that are characterized by similar behavioral symptoms to autism. According to the Autism Research Institute, Williams Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, and Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, are all closely related to autism.
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How Is Autism Normally Treated
There is no known cure for conditions on the autism spectrum. However, there have been many useful approaches and programs developed to help the child with specific difficulties which may be impacting on their quality of life or which may be in the way of their optimal development.
Some of these programs tend to focus on helping the child to develop communication, such as PECS .
Other approaches may be based on more traditional behavioural techniques designed to teach basic learning skills, such as ABA , or on implementing clarity and predictability children with autism tend to thrive on, such as TEACH .
Children with autism can be very effectively supported through people around them having an increased awareness of their condition, their support needs and their unique profile of their strengths and difficulties.
Families of children with more severe difficulties may also require some practical support or access to specialist resources to help them to support the child.
There is no best intervention for children with autism. An intervention that helps one child may not be suitable for another, so parents should always seek professional guidance.
Parents are advised to be cautious about any treatment that claims to cure autism.
Are Siblings At Greater Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
The truth is that genetics do play a role in autism. When one child is diagnosed with ASD, the next child to come along has about a 20% greater risk of developing autism than normal. When the first two children in a family have both been diagnosed with ASD, the third child has about a 32% greater risk of developing ASD.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Autism In Babies And Toddlers
If autism is caught in infancy, treatment can take full advantage of the young brains remarkable plasticity. Although autism is hard to diagnose before 24 months, symptoms often surface between 12 and 18 months. If signs are detected by 18 months of age, intensive treatment may help to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms.
The earliest signs of autism involve the absence of typical behaviorsnot the presence of atypical onesso they can be tough to spot. In some cases, the earliest symptoms of autism are even misinterpreted as signs of a good baby, since the infant may seem quiet, independent, and undemanding. However, you can catch warning signs early if you know what to look for.
Some autistic infants dont respond to cuddling, reach out to be picked up, or look at their mothers when being fed.
Clinical Development And Diagnoses
Leo Kannerearly infantile autism
The word autism first took its modern sense in 1938 when Hans Asperger of the Vienna University Hospital adopted Bleuler’s terminology autistic psychopaths in a lecture in German about child psychology. Asperger was investigating an ASD now known as Asperger syndrome, though for various reasons it was not widely recognized as a separate diagnosis until 1981.Leo Kanner of the Johns Hopkins Hospital first used autism in its modern sense in English when he introduced the label early infantile autism in a 1943 report of 11 children with striking behavioral similarities. Almost all the characteristics described in Kanner’s first paper on the subject, notably “autistic aloneness” and “insistence on sameness”, are still regarded as typical of the autistic spectrum of disorders. It is not known whether Kanner derived the term independently of Asperger.
Kanner’s reuse of autism led to decades of confused terminology like infantile schizophrenia, and child psychiatry’s focus on maternal deprivation led to misconceptions of autism as an infant’s response to “refrigerator mothers“. Starting in the late 1960s autism was established as a separate syndrome.
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Funding For Assessment And Diagnosis Of Autism
You can have your child assessed for autism through the public or the private health system.
Public assessment services are funded through your state or territory government and are often run through hospitals or health services. These are offered at no cost to families, but many have long waiting lists.
The other option is to be assessed privately. A paediatrician can refer you to another professional to confirm the diagnosis. A private assessment can be expensive, and there might also be a waiting list.
You can claim a rebate from Medicare to help with some of the costs of the assessment sessions, but theres still an out-of-pocket expense, and youll need to cover the full cost of any more assessment sessions. You might also be able to claim some of the fees through your private health fund, if you have one.
When youre deciding whether to go through the public or private system for assessment, it can help to ask:
- Is there a waiting list? How long will it take before we get our first appointment?
- How long will it take until the assessment is finished and we get the results?
- How many sessions will you need with me and my child?
- Can I claim anything back from Medicare?
- Can you give me an estimate of my out-of-pocket expenses?
- Does it cost extra for the report about my childs results?
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
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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
How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed
There are no laboratory tests to determine ASD. However, certain healthcare providers receive specific training and can do screenings and evaluations if needed and who might ask parents or teachers to record observations. These providers might include specialized physicians, psychologists and speech-language pathologists.
What’s It Like To Have Autism Spectrum Disorder
A kid with autism might have trouble:
- talking and learning the meaning of words
- making friends or fitting in
- dealing with changes
- dealing with loud noises, bright lights, or crowds
Kids also might move in an unusual way or do the same thing over and over .
A kid with autism may have a little trouble with these things, or a lot. Some kids need only a little bit of help, and others might need a lot of help with learning and doing everyday stuff.
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Noticing Early Warning Signs Of Autism
Everyone tells us not to compare our child with others, whether to our own or someone elses children, but how can we say we dont notice any differences, if were really being honest? We cant just ignore their development and tell ourselves, Theyll talk when theyre ready and similar statements. Sure, every baby is different, and some develop more quickly or slowly for non-concerning reasons. How are we supposed to know when to worry?
The key here is looking for a pattern. If your child does one or two things that seem a bit strange to you, that may not necessarily be reason to send up red flags. On the other hand, if you are noticing that your baby isnt hitting multiple milestones, or has several very strange behaviors, thats a good reason to check in with their pediatrician. Here are some of the common early warning signs of autism to be watching for around 12-18 months and beyond.
A Lack Of Interest In Pretend Play
For kids with autism, pretend skills may be absent or lacking. dont use objects for pretend playstuff like picking up a sponge and using it as a pretend phone, she says. Play-feeding a doll or pretending the couch is a truck or train are other examples. If this kind of pretend play hasnt started by 18 months, thats a warning sign, notes the CDC.
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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.