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Is My Infant Autistic

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The Type Of Therapy To Expect At The Lighthouse Autism Center

My Autistic Son Through the Years – First Signs of Autism and Speech Development

At the Lighthouse Autism Center, we use a unique approach to ABA therapy called Lighthouse Fusion. This is a unique program for children on the autism spectrum fuses together ABA and speech therapy and helps children make greater progress, faster. ABA therapy helps children with autism develop new skills, as well as improve the skills that they already have and decrease problem behaviors.

Our therapy programs are tailored to each individual child, and achievable goals are set out for the child to strive for in different areas of skill. Some skills include:

  • Improve attention, focus, and memory
  • Play and leisure

Early Signs Of Autism In Toddlers Up To 24 Months May Include:

  • Limited or no speech
  • Only walking on their toes
  • Difficulty in following simple verbal instructions
  • Gestures and imitating others actions are limited
  • Showing an intense interest in certain objects, at the exclusion of all else
  • Showing an intense interest in unusual or unexpected objects or materials
  • Unwillingness to share objects or activities they are interested in, or to engage the attention of others, or
  • Engaging in repetitive actions and activities, such as putting objects into lines or groups, etc.

Seem Overly Fussy Or Be Difficult To Soothe

Children at risk for autism might cry or tantrum more often than other children. They might also begin to cry or fuss without an obvious trigger and/or not be soothed by common calming practices.

  • Example of a typically developing child: While observing Johnny at play with a playgroup, Mrs. Smith sees Johnny bump his head and begin to cry. She immediately goes over to her son, picks him up, and speaks soothingly to him. After a minute or two, Johnny quiets down and is soon eager to return to his play.
  • Example of a child at risk for autism: While observing Sam at play with a playgroup, Mrs. Jones sees and hears Sam begin to cry. Mrs. Jones immediately goes over to her son, picks him up, and speaks soothingly to him. Mrs. Jones is not sure why Sam began crying and her attempts to soothe him are unsuccessful.

Scientific References:

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Build Your Support Network

A supportive network of family and friends can help you make sense of information and support you in practical ways.

  • Talk to friends and family you trust about your concerns about your child.
  • Meet and talk to other parents of autistic children by joining forums or parent groups. Your state autism association or the NDIA can help you find local groups.
  • If you need a break, ask family or friends to look after your child occasionally or for other kinds of practical help, like cooking an occasional meal. You might find it hard to ask for or accept help, but people who care about you and your child will want to support you.

When you look after yourself, youre better able to navigate the challenges of family life with an autistic child. And when youre healthy and well, it helps your child grow and thrive.

Play With Toys In An Unusual Manner

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A child at risk for autism might use their toys or other objects in a manner different from how they are typically used, or might not actually play with toys. A childs use of these objects might replace typical usages.

  • Example of a typically developing child: While watching Johnny play with a matchbox® car, Mrs. Smith sees him pause briefly to examine and spin the cars wheels. For the rest of the play period Johnny rolls the car across the floor while saying, vroom-vroom.”
  • Example of a child at-risk for autism: While watching Sam play with a matchbox® car, Mrs. Jones sees him flip the car over and repeatedly spin the wheels while holding the car level with and a few inches away from his eyes.

Scientific References:

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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.

Make Good Eye Contact

A child at risk for autism may not use his/her eye gaze appropriately to initiate, terminate, or regulate social interactions. Please note, however, some children with an autism spectrum disorder may have appropriate eye contact and gaze.

  • Example of a typically developing child: When making a request, Johnny alternates looking at Mrs. Smith then the treat and then back at Mrs. Smith to convey what he wants.
  • Example of a child at risk for autism: Sam actively avoids eye contact with Mrs. Jones by turning away, pushing away, or closing his eyes.

Scientific References:

  • Gangi, D., Schwichtenberg, A., Iosif, A., Young, G., Baguio, F., & Ozonoff, S. . Gaze to faces across interactive contexts in infants at heightened risk for autism. Autism : The International Journal of Research and Practice, 22, 763-768.
  • Jones, W., & Klin, A. . Attention to eyes is present but in decline in 2-6-month-old infants later diagnosed with autism. Nature, 504, 427-31.
  • Wetherby, Woods, Allen, Cleary, Dickinson, & Lord . Early indicators of autism spectrum disorders in the second year of life. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 473-493.
  • Zwaigenbaum, Bryson, Rogers, Roberts, Brian, & Szatmari . Behavioral manifestations of autism in the first year of life. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 23, 143-152.

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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.

Delayed Language Or Speech

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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 says language development could be uneven, with exceptional language development in some areas and impairment in other areas.

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Booking An Autism Assessment At Autism Sa

The highly experienced Diagnostic Team at Autism SA provides autism assessments for all ages including babies, toddlers and young children, and there are a number of ways in which you can arrange an assessment for a child in your care.

To learn more about this you can visit our Diagnostic Process page.

For more information you are also welcome to contact the Autism SA Infoline.

Support for autistic mums

There are many first time challenges that arise when bringing a baby into the world. Autism SAs online Autistic Mums Group helps alleviate some of those trickier challenges and paves the way for autistic mums to thrive right from the beginning of motherhood. To learn more about this program, click the button below.

Is My Child Autistic

Writing on the Autism Awareness Centre website, its founder, Maureen Bennie, states that these positives include:

  • Granular attention to detail
  • Methodological approaches to subjects
  • Resilience, tenacity, loyalty, acceptance of difference, and integrity

However, autistic people may also find it hard to communicate and to understand how other people think or feel. They can become anxious in unfamiliar situations and find things like bright lights or loud noises stressful.

Autism is not an illness but it is with the person for life. Some autistic people have mild symptoms and need very little support, whilst others need daily help.

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Early Identification Of Autism

Identifying autism spectrum disorder at the earliest age possible is of the utmost importance early treatment can be very beneficial to the child and their family.

Abnormalities in how babies acts socially, as well as how they pay attention to and interact with their non-social environment, could be early warning signs. A delay in speech alone generally does not signify autism, but in combination with other warning signs, could suggest that a toddler is at risk.

My Child Has Signs Of Autismnow What

Infant eye movements link to autism

If your child has signs of autism, Dr. Frazier advises scheduling a visit to your pediatrician right away. You’ll 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.

Early intervention is meant to help any child with autism develop to their own full potential. The brain can respond to treatments more effectively at younger ages, which can make interventions more effective. As your child gets older, those interventions might include speech therapy, occupational therapy, mental health counseling, and whatever else experts believe will help your child thrive. The ultimate goal is “making the symptoms more manageable and enhancing life as much as possible,” says Dr. Silverman.

Also Check: How Does Autism Affect People

Show Objects To Others

A child at risk for autism may not show objects to another person or may show objects in a partial or inconsistent manner. Typically developing children show objects to others to show enjoyment in the interaction or to initiate an interaction with another person whereas a child at risk for autism may only show objects to others to obtain assistance.

  • Example of a typically developing child: Johnny brings a ball to Mrs. Smith, holds it up to her, and places it in front of her with while looking at her and saying baaaaa.
  • Example of a child at risk for autism: Sam holds up a ball and places it in front of Mrs. Jones without coordinated eye contact or vocalizations as though storing it in a safe place for later.

Scientific References:

Social Communication And Interaction Skills

Social communication and interaction skills can be challenging for people with ASD.

Examples of social communication and social interaction characteristics related to ASD can include

  • Avoids or does not keep eye contact
  • Does not respond to name by 9 months of age
  • Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
  • Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age
  • Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age
  • Does not share interests with others by 15 months of age
  • Does not point to show you something interesting by 18 months of age
  • Does not notice when others are hurt or upset by 24 months of age
  • Does not notice other children and join them in play by 36 months of age
  • Does not pretend to be something else, like a teacher or superhero, during play by 48 months of age
  • Does not sing, dance, or act for you by 60 months of age

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Dont Use Creative Language

Autistic children take things literally. If you sprinkle your conversation with irony, sarcasm, exaggerations, or idioms, youre bound to confuse the child.

For example, dont tell a child to keep an eye on something. The child may reach for it and put the item near his face.

Be as literal and direct as you can, so the child knows exactly what youre talking about.

If you slip and say something unusual, dont laugh at the child for taking your words literally. Apologize for your mistake, and rephrase the sentence so your meaning is clear.

Early Signs Of Autism In Toddlers And Preschoolers

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Early signs of autism in toddlers and preschoolers include the ones listed above, so take note if your older baby avoids looking you in the eye, doesnt respond to his name by the time he turns a year old, and doesnt point, smile, babble or enjoy being held.

In addition to those early signs in babies, you might also notice the following early symptoms of autism in your older child:

  • Doesn’t engage in pretend play by 18 months

  • Prefers to play alone and doesnt seem to understand feelings in other people

  • Doesn’t speak or speaks with an unusual rhythm or monotone

  • Gives unrelated answers to questions

  • Appears to ignore your request

  • Repeats certain words or phrases constantly

  • Throws frequent temper tantrums in response to minor changes in routine

  • Intentionally and repeatedly inflicts harm on himself

  • Acts obsessively interested in something a rugs pattern or the spinning wheels on a toy

  • Moves spastically flaps hands, rocks, or spins his body in a circle

  • Reacts to sounds, smells or touch in an abnormal way

  • Has unusual food preferences

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Early Warning Signs Of Autism

“Could my child have autism?” With one in 88 children being diagnosed with autism, according to the CDC’s latest estimate, that’s what many new parents want to know. Autism is generally not diagnosed until age three, but signs of developmental delay can begin to appear as early as six months of age.

According to Dr. Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md., parents have the power to spot red flags of autism in its earliest form.

What are the signs of autism in infants 6 months to 1 year old? Keep clicking to find out…

Accelerated Growth Of The Circumference Of The Head In Relation To Its Starting Point

A study conducted by Courchesne found that, in certain cases, children diagnosed with autism were born with small head circumferences, but within two years the circumference grew rapidly so that it reached larger dimensions of head circumference in comparison to typical development of children. This sign is not conclusive for autism.

It is important to note that each of these symptoms may indicate other disorders not related to autism! It is therefore imperative to first and foremost conduct medical examinations to negate these possibilities. Once this has been done and two of the above-mentioned symptoms persist over time, the possibility of a development disorder linked to autism should be investigated.

Also Check: How Do You Know If Your Child Autistic

What Are Other Warning Signs That My Infant May Have Autism

Along with a lack of interaction with the primary caregivers, several other behavior patterns may appear as early as six months of age. Babies are mimics. They learn about their world by mimicking the behavior of the adults around them. If your baby is not trying to talk to you when you speak to him or her, or not trying to repeat your facial expressions, speak to your pediatrician.

Another sign is often misdiagnosed as a hearing impairment. While your babys hearing is important, saying his or her name should elicit a positive response. The baby should look at you or turn to find you. Have the babys hearing checked, but do not rule out autism.

Babies showing no interest in facial expressions are at risk of autism. Interpreting facial expressions appropriately allows an infant to become more socially interactive as he or she develops. A recent finding from the Yale School of Medicine shows that infants who paid little attention to facial expressions were more likely to be diagnosed with autism.

Delayed motor development such as turning over or crawling should raise red flags. Physical ailments should be ruled out first, but these are also signs of autism in an infant. Taken individually, these signs might not seem so unusual. Together, though, they require early intervention and proper diagnosis.

Directions For The Future And Implications For Clinical Services

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Recent work employing new approaches to the study of social attention has begun to emerge and has important potential for contributing to both screening and early diagnosis. These findings build on the observation that older individuals with autism exhibit highly unusual patterns of attending to people 24. Similar results have now been obtained with toddlers 25. These results are consistent with the general lack of salience of social motivation and interest 26. Another approach has used automatic attention cuing 27to further clarify differences in early gaze processing. The use of strategies based on these techniques may offer important new approaches to early screening that are more physiologically based.

As diagnostic and screening methods improve, more and more infants will be referred for assessment and treatment. It remains unclear what services will best be employed in treatment. The recent US National Research Council Report 6has summarized work relevant to somewhat older, i.e. preschool, children, while there is uncertainty about models of service provision that will be most appropriately provided to infants. However, the potential for focusing on remediation in the earliest months of childrenlives does provide the possibility for substantially improved outcomes.

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