What Do I Do If My Child Shows Symptoms Of Autism
If you are concerned your child has autism, you should make an appointment with your pediatrician. Autism is diagnosed through watching your childs behavior. Your pediatrician can identify signs that may mean your child has autism and refer you to a pediatric neurologist who specializes in autism.
Your pediatrician may also identify signs of autism during a well-baby check. Dr. Evans encourages parents to never miss a well-baby check, which can be critical to keeping an eye on your babys health, growth and development.
Can You Have Asd And Adhd
Yes, you can.
And, since the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition was released in 2013, making it possible for the first time for children and adults to be diagnosed with both autism and ADHD, many people now have a dual diagnosis.
Both ASD and ADHD are neurodevelopmental disorders, meaning brain development has been affected in some way.
As many as 50%-70% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
According to Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder , both conditions affect the central nervous system, which is responsible for movement, language, memory, and social and focusing skills.
A 2021 meta-analysisof 56 studies found that 50%-70% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder also present with comorbid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
Social Communication / Interaction Behaviors May Include:
- Making little or inconsistent eye contact
- Appearing not to look at or listen to people who are talking
- Infrequently sharing interest, emotion, or enjoyment of objects or activities
- Not responding or being slow to respond to ones name or to other verbal bids for attention
- Having difficulties with the back and forth of conversation
- Often talking at length about a favorite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond
- Displaying facial expressions, movements, and gestures that do not match what is being said
- Having an unusual tone of voice that may sound sing-song or flat and robot-like
- Having trouble understanding another persons point of view or being unable to predict or understand other peoples actions
- Difficulties adjusting behaviors to social situations
- Difficulties sharing in imaginative play or in making friends
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Restrictive / Repetitive Behaviors May Include:
- Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors, such as repeating words or phrases
- Having a lasting intense interest in specific topics, such as numbers, details, or facts
- Showing overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects
- Becoming upset by slight changes in a routine and having difficulty with transitions
- Being more sensitive or less sensitive than other people to sensory input, such as light, sound, clothing, or temperature
People with ASD may also experience sleep problems and irritability.
People on the autism spectrum also may have many strengths, including:
- Being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time
- Being strong visual and auditory learners
- Excelling in math, science, music, or art
Autism Symptoms In Adults
Classic symptoms of autism in children are not always present in adults on the spectrum, especially in those underdiagnosed as children . Adults on the spectrum commonly exhibit symptoms related to social and communication difficulties, repetitive behaviors, sensory processing difficulties, and issues with executive function and theory of mind. Short descriptions and lists of common symptoms in adults are listed below .
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What Are Patterns Of Behavior With Autism
Children with ASD also act in ways that seem unusual or have interests that arenât typical, including:
- Repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, rocking, jumping, or twirling
- Constant moving and âhyperâ behavior
- Fixations on certain activities or objects
- Specific routines or rituals
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, light, and sound
- Not taking part in âmake-believeâ play or imitating othersâ behaviors
- Fussy eating habits
- Aggressive behavior, both with self and others
- Short attention span
Early Intervention Is Key
ASD is both a spectrum disorder with ranges in severity and disability as well as a developmental disorder.
While autism is typically noticeable by toddler age, some children can develop coping skills that mask ASD until later in life. In these cases, autism can often go unnoticed until social demands extend beyond the ability to cope with them. This often coincides with entering school.
Early intervention and treatment for ASD can offer children the best chance at fulfilling lives. As a result, it is vital to be on the lookout for autism symptoms early on in life and to start the diagnostic process as soon as possible. ASD can be suspected in infanthood and officially diagnosed in a young toddler.
Behavioral signs of autism are often evident between 6 and 12 months, but many developmental delays can even out by around 24 months. For example, some children are simply late walkers or talkers, and this doesnt signify autism. This is why the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis is not typically considered to be stable and definitive until at least 18 months.
Children who are considered high functioning on the ASD spectrum may begin school before problems start to really appear. It is often in this school environment that the self-developed coping skills are challenged socially.
There is no cure for ASD, but it is a highly manageable disorder. With effective therapy, children with autism often grow into stable, independent, and thriving adults.
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Symptoms And Signs Of Autism
Autism spectrum disorders can vary in severity of symptoms, age of onset, and the presence of various features such as language and intellectual ability. The manifestations of ASD can differ considerably across individuals. Even though there are strong and consistent commonalities, especially in social interaction, there is no single behavior that is always present in every individual with ASD, and no behavior that would automatically exclude an individual from diagnosis of ASD.
Doesnt Engage In Pretend Play:
A child has beautiful innocence and with whatever small toys or objects he has, he try to pretend them or imitate them for expensive and valuable things like Mobile, Bus, trains etc. But, sadly, the child with autism may be void of such pretending skills. If he doesnt play pretending games or imitate others or use toys in many creative ways, then there is red alert for the parents, which should not be ignored.
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What Are The Signs Of Autism
The autism diagnosis age and intensity of autisms early signs vary widely. Some infants show hints in their first months. In others, behaviors become obvious as late as age 2 or 3.
Not all children with autism show all the signs. Many children who dont have autism show a few. Thats why professional evaluation is crucial.
The following may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, ask your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation right away:
Behavioral Signs Were Not Evident
Sometimes, signs of autism may not become obvious until much later in childhood or adulthood when certain demands increase.
For instance, if you struggle to interpret subtle communication cues, the symptom may only become more recognizable later on in situations such as employment or dating, says Hanks.
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Difficulty Picking Up On Small Social Cues
Deciphering nonverbal, subtle social cues can be hard for adults with autism spectrum disorder, so they may feel lost in conversation.
Adults on the autism spectrum typically may interpret nonverbal communicationincluding facial expressions, eye-rolling, and hand gesturesdifferently than neurotypical people.
Why Is Autism Awareness Important
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. April has also become known as Autism Awareness Month in the United States. However, many community advocates have rightly called for the need to increase awareness about ASD year-round, not just during 30 select days.
The Autism Society of America and other advocates have even proposed that April be designated Autism Acceptance Month instead.
Autism acceptance requires empathy and an understanding that ASD is different for everyone.
Certain therapies and approaches can work for some people but not others. Parents and caregivers can also have differing opinions on the best way to advocate for an autistic child.
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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:
How To Begin A Diagnosis Process
Adults who suspect they or a loved one might be autistic can do a self-assessment test for adults. A person can find these tests online. While they cannot give a diagnosis, the tests are a good starting point.
A person seeking a diagnosis can take the results of such a test to a primary care doctor who will try to determine whether ASD may be present by:
- enquiring about the symptoms, both current and during childhood
- observing and interacting with the person
- speaking to a loved one
- checking for other physical or mental health conditions that may be causing symptoms
If no underlying physical condition can explain the symptoms, the doctor may refer the person to a psychiatrist or a psychologist to make an ASD diagnosis.
If symptoms are not present in childhood but begin in adolescence or adulthood, this may indicate a cognitive or mental health condition other than ASD.
It may be difficult to find a specialist who can diagnose ASD in adults. Individuals who would like a diagnosis for themselves or a loved one may need to do research to find a provider with experience diagnosing autistic adults.
Another option is to speak to a developmental pediatrician or child psychiatrist who is willing to see adult clients.
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How Often Asd Occurs
CDCs Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network has been estimating the number of 8-year-old children with ASD in the United States since 2000.
ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. It is more than 4 times more common among boys than among girls.
What To Do If You Suspect You’re Living With Adult Autism
The symptoms of ASD listed above are not an exhaustive list, and an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis must be made by a licensed medical professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
For some adults, an ASD diagnosis can provide comfort, relief, and a clearer path forward. You may also want to speak with a therapist who specializes in autism spectrum disorder.
While autism spectrum disorder is a life-long condition, some therapeutic treatmentsincluding applied behavioral analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy , and certain medicationscan help manage symptoms.
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How To Diagnose Autism In Adults
A psychologist or psychiatrist will often interview you to learn about the history of your autistic traits and observe how you respond, Fisher says. They will ask about the way you communicate with others and whether you have any strong, specific interests, repetitive behaviors, or sensory issues. These questions will help them see if you fit the criteria for ASD.
Diagnostic tools like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule which is considered the gold standard in diagnosing ASD in adults are often used to structure and guide the assessment, Fisher adds. This diagnostic test takes about 40 to 60 minutes to administer.
The diagnostician may also want to interview family members as well to get insight into your childhood experiences, Hanks says.
Ultimately, the decision to get diagnosed depends on you. If you are distressed about certain aspects of your behavior and you’re questioning whether you might have ASD, getting a diagnosis could lead to appropriate treatment, support, and services, Fisher says.
“Many adults who have been diagnosed with autism report it helps them to understand themselves and be more self-aware of their areas of challenge,” Hanks says.
Problems With Communication And Social Interaction
ASD can involve a range of issues with communication, many of which appear before age 5.
Heres a general timeline of what this might look like:
- From birth: trouble maintaining eye contact
- not responding to their name
- not displaying facial expressions reflective of their emotions
- : not engaging in basic interactive games, like peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake
- not using hand gestures, like hand-waving
- not sharing their interests with others
- not pointing or looking where others point
- not noticing when others appear sad or hurt
- not engaging in pretend play, like caring for a baby doll or playing with figurines
- not playing turn-taking games, like duck-duck goose
Additionally, autistic children might have trouble expressing their feelings or understanding those of others starting at 36 months.
As they age, they might have difficulty talking or very limited speaking skills. Other autistic children might develop language skills at an uneven pace. If theres a particular topic thats very interesting to them, for example, they might develop a very strong vocabulary for talking about that one topic. But they might have difficulty communicating about other things.
As autistic children begin talking, they might also talk in an unusual tone that can range from high-pitched and sing-songy to robotic or flat.
While hyperlexia does not always accompany autism, research suggests nearly 84 percent of children with hyperlexia are on the spectrum.
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Autism Can Sometimes Go Undiagnosed Until Adulthood Here Are Eight Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults
Could you have symptoms of adult autism?
If you’re wondering whether you’re living with undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder , you’re not alone.
Americans’ curiosity in and Google searches for adult autism and the related term “neurodivergent”spiked up significantly in mid-2020 and have steadily increased since, according to Google Trends.
Read on for more information on autism spectrum disorder, neurodiversity, the signs of autism in adults, and how to get a diagnosis and treatment for ASD.
Why Is The Term High
The main reason the term high-functioning is controversial within the autism community is because of its lack of accuracy.
Generally, high-functioning autism is thought to refer to an autistic person who doesnt have an intellectual disability.
However, studies including one from 2019 have revealed that theres a weak correlation between IQ and adaptive behaviors like eating, getting dressed, tying shoelaces, and so forth.
What is considered high-functioning, therefore, is more complicated than mere intelligence quotients.
In other words, there are too many categories for functioning in society to label an autistic person as either high- or low-functioning, such as:
- communication abilities
- motor skills
- and more
These categories affect all autistic people differently. An autistic person with a high IQ, for instance, would generally be categorized as high-functioning yet could still score low in all social and communication categories.
The term completely disregards the difficulties these individuals have on a day-to-day basis, explains Andrew Whitehouse, PhD, professor of autism research at the Telethon Kids Institute and the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia.
The concern is that those who are labeled as high-functioning will not be able to receive the care and services they need.
Although high-functioning can manifest in many different ways within autistic individuals, there are several common symptoms to look out for.
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Repeating Phrases More Often:
A child in its infant stage normally babble or repeat certain sounds or words but soon leaves them once advances in months and years. Whereas, autism plagued child will continuously repeat sounds, words or phrases over and over again repeating This unusual behavior is often termed to as echolalia which is a warning sign for the parents to figure out the symptoms of Autism.
The Core Symptoms Of Autism Are:
social communication challengesand
- begin in early childhood
- interfere with daily living.
Specialized healthcare providers diagnose autism using a checklist of criteria in the two categories above. They also assess autism symptom severity. Autisms severity scale reflects how much support a person needs for daily function.
Many people with autism have sensory issues. These typically involve over- or under-sensitivities to sounds, lights, touch, tastes, smells, pain and other stimuli.
Autism is also associated with high rates of certain physical and mental health conditions.
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