Each Person With An Autism Spectrum Disorder Is Unique
Words used to describe an individual who is on the autism spectrum are being questioned more and more by the autism community. Terms such as mild or severe and labels like high-functioning and low-functioning are not particularly accurate and could be viewed as harmful. Someone who cant talk might have better social skills than someone who speaks well. What if the person who can speak is unable to pick up on social cues? A medical diagnosis might label the non-verbal individual as being more severely autistic than the verbal one. While individuals with autism are on a spectrum, the line is possibly more blurred than originally thought.
Some children and adults with autism have serious cognitive disabilities and sensory problems. They may display extremely repetitive behaviours including meltdowns, self-injury, defensiveness and aggression. These are often provoked by anxiety and/or pain. Without appropriate intervention and an understanding of the underlying cause, behaviours may become persistent and difficult to change. Living with and caring for a person with autism can be challenging, requiring tremendous patience and an understanding of the condition.
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.
Cues May Signal Autism In Toddlers
Some Children as Young as 14 Months Old May Be Diagnosed With Autism
July 5, 2007 — A new study suggests that about half of all cases of autism spectrum disorders may be diagnosable during the toddler years. The other half may be diagnosed later and may be a very different type of the behavioral and social disorder.
Researchers found that certain early signs of autism spectrum disorders were evident in children at 14 months of age, and this early diagnosis was then confirmed by age 3.
“The fact that we can identify this at such a young age is extremely exciting because it gives us an opportunity to diagnose children with ASD very early on when intervention may have a great impact on development,” says researcher Rebecca Landa, PhD, director of the Kennedy Krieger Institute Center for Autism and Related disorders, in a news release.
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Strong Interest In Unusual Sensory Experiences
Babies with autism can show very strong interest in unusual sensory experiences, such as excessive rubbing of certain textures, looking out the side of their eye or closely inspecting a block or toy train as it rolls by, or licking objects.
If your child shows strong interest in unusual sensory experiences, this may be an early sign of autism.
Signs Of Autism In Adults
Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition and some people with autism spectrum disorder are not diagnosed until they are adults. This could be because they fall into the higher functioning range of the autism spectrum and their symptoms are less severe, or because they were misdiagnosed with a condition such as or .
Although treatment can improve some outward symptoms, people with autism will always process sensations such as sound, sight, touch and smell in different ways.
Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that adults will have different experiences of day-to-day living. An adult with mild symptoms, who is towards the higher functioning range of the autism spectrum, may:
- Have difficulties with social interactions
- Avoid making eye contact
- Not understand nonverbal facial or body gestures, such as frowning or shrugging
- Not understand changes in tone of voice, such as sarcasm
- Be comforted by rules and routine
- Get upset at changes to routines
- Be under- or over-sensitive to loud noises, strong smells or tastes
- Engage in repetitive behaviors, such as pacing or hand flapping
- Have a narrow range of interests
- Have a good memory and recall of facts
An adult who is towards the lower functioning range of the autism spectrum may:
Employment may present a challenge for adults with autism. People with autism are likely to need adjustments to be able to work productively, such as lights that do not flicker or a quiet space to work in.
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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
Struggles With Imaginary Play
Most toddlers engage in some type of imaginary play around 12-15 months. They can pick up a toy and pretend it is a phone, feed a baby doll, or pretend to wash a toy dog. Autistic children typically struggle in this area, as most of their brains are more concrete. Of course they can learn to imitate behaviors if they see them repeated enough, but they dont usually branch off from there like neurotypical children do. An autistic child may learn to give a baby doll a pretend bottle is they see it demonstrated multiple times. But it is unlikely that they will continue with the pretend play by brushing the dolls hair, wiping her face, or painting her nails they only repeat what they have seen.
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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.
What Do I Do If The Referral Is Delayed
The road to getting that all important ASD diagnosis can be difficult. If you feel like your child is displaying symptoms, and are experiencing a delay in the clinical diagnosis, make the first steps to getting treatment. Intervention during the preschool years will improve your childs chances of overcoming the developmental delays that are characteristic of autism.
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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.
Hard To Look At You And Use A Gesture And Sound
Babies learn to use gestures and sounds from 9-16 months to let you know what they want or dont want, and what theyre interested in.
It should be easy for your baby to use a gesture and sound while theyre looking at you.
If its hard for your baby to look at you and use a gesture and sound, all at the same time, this can be an early sign of autism.
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Autism Signs By 7 Months
- They don’t turn their head to locate where sounds are coming from.
- They show no affection for you.
- They don’t laugh or make squealing sounds.
- They don’t reach for objects.
- They don’t smile on their own.
- They don’t try to attract attention through actions.
- They don’t have any interest in games such as peekaboo.
Unresponsive To His Or Her Name
By 12 months of age, most children will look up or respond when someone calls them by name. If a child does not, that may be indicative of autism, the CDC says. These kids may also seem not to hear their parents or other people, or they may struggle to understand or follow simple commands or instructions.
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Understand The Most Common Red Flags Of Autism And What To Do Next
Do you have concerns about your childs development? As your toddler develops new skills, it can be difficult to decipher what is considered normal development and when to seek professional guidance. Typically, initial signs of autism can be present between 2 and 3 years old, but some children can be diagnosed as early as 18 months old. Understanding common signs and characteristics of autism can help parents and caregivers lead their child toward a fulfilling and independent life by providing intervention as soon as possible.
Has An Unusual Intelligence Level
Being either far advanced or obviously delayed for their age could be a cause for concern. Some autistic children have an amazing mathematical or musical talent, known as a savant ability. Others are cognitively delayed. If you notice your child is on either end of the spectrum, and is clearly at a different intelligence level than the majority of their peers, its worth noting. That being said, some kids on the spectrum have a normal intelligence level, so the absence of unusual intelligence does not rule out autism.
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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.
The Signs Of Autism In Babies And Toddlers
Find out how you can spot the early signs and symptoms of autism in babies and toddlers, and what you can do to manage the condition.
Autism is a developmental condition that affects how children interact with others and the world around them. It is often diagnosed around aged four, so it is important to know the early signs to look for in babies and toddlers. Early intervention can drastically improve the outcome for the child and their family the brain is more malleable at a young age, meaning it is more likely to respond to therapies which can alter the course of autism. Unfortunately, there is currently no medical test that can diagnose autism in children, so detecting autism relies on careful observations.
In the last 30 years, the number of children and adults who are diagnosed with autism has increased, largely thanks to an increased understanding of the symptoms. Traditionally, more boys are affected than girls, although it’s thought this is because girls are underdiagnosed because they are better at masking symptoms.
“Your child could have difficulty with social communication, interaction and imagination.”
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Signs Of Autism In Infants
Its important to note that every baby is unique and their symptoms or development may be different than whats listed here below. Its always best to consult your pediatrician or find a pediatric specialist in development to discuss any abnormal or odd habits that your baby is showing that could be signs of autism in infants.
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.
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The Type Of Therapy To Expect At The Lighthouse Autism Center
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:
- Social skills
- Improve attention, focus, and memory
- Play and leisure
Common Signs Of Asd In Preschoolers
With some children, the signs of autism might not become entirely obvious until they reach preschool , when suddenly the developmental gap between them and their peers becomes more pronounced.In addition to the signs for babies/toddlers, here are some of the more common ways ASD might present itself in a preschool-aged child.
Social communication red flags
- The child generally does not point to or share observations or experiences with others
- The child tends not to look directly at other people in a social way. This is sometimes referred to as a lack of eye contact
- There may be an absence of speech, or unusual speech patterns such as repeating words and phrases , failure to use âIâ, âmeâ, and âyouâ, or reversal of these pronouns
- Unusual responses to other people. A child may show no desire to be cuddled, have a strong preference for familiar people and may appear to treat people as objects rather than a source of comfort
- The child may appear to avoid social situations, preferring to be alone
- There is limited development of play activities, particularly imaginative play
- There may be constant crying or there may be an unusual absence of crying
Behavioural red flags
âShe was so distant from us we found it hard to engage her. We would have to say her name at least six times before she would acknowledge us, often staring into space as if in a trance. We put this down to a hearing problem but test results showed otherwise.â
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About Early Signs Of Autism
Some early signs of autism usually appear in the first 1-2 years of life.
Early signs of autism are listed below. Some children have many early signs, whereas others have only a few. The number of signs autistic children have varies according to their age and the effect that autism has on their everyday lives.
Sometimes early signs of autism change over time. For example, children might lose or stop using social-communication or language skills, or signs might become clearer as children get older.
The Importance Of Early Diagnosis
The American Academy of Pediatrics joins with the CDC in recommending screening at a young age to ensure early intervention and better developmental outcomes. In the U.S., the majority of autism costs are for adult rather than child services . With early diagnosis and treatment, the cost of care over a lifetime can be reduced by two-thirds.
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Lack Of Reaction To The Voice Or Presence Of A Parent
There is no turning of the head, no response to his/her name, no smile or babbling. A distinction should be drawn between a lack of reaction to a voice and lack of reaction to the presence of a parent: even if a baby does not hear, he/she will react to the presence of a parent. In any case, a hearing test should first be conducted before drawing conclusions.
The Benefits Of Early Intervention
Early diagnosis can provide early access to intervention. “There is good literature reporting that when intervention is provided to young children with any delay, they make good gains in skills,” says Dr. Angulo. “Infancy and toddlerhood is a time of rapid brain development and helping a child who has some delays or difficulties during this time can help a child to make more gains than they would at other time periods in their life.”
However, any time a diagnosis is made it can be helpful for the child.”Humans are always learning and growing, so intervention can be started at any time during the lifetime,” explains Dr. Angulo. Early diagnosis can also help families and friends understand areas that can be challenging and help the child get any extra or different support they need.
It can take time and experience to determine if ASD would describe the behavior seen in a child, says Dr. Angulo. “Ongoing conversation and continuity with the same pediatrician can help everyone to know and love your child better. These children have much to teach us and I hope we celebrate the wonderful uniqueness they bring to the world!”
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Treatment For Autism In Babies
Autism is not a disorder that can be developed later or inherited from someone else. Children with autism are often born this way. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder. There is no treatment. Individuals with autism are individuals with autism throughout their lives, but the severity of the symptoms decreases thanks to the therapies and interventions they receive and they do not need to reduce their living standards in this way.
Unfortunately, in todays world, there is no treatment for autism spectrum disorder yet. Fortunately, a variety of interventions have been designed by professionals that can reduce the severity of symptoms, improve quality of life, and improve the childs abilities and social skills.
Early diagnosis and early intervention have a great impact on children with autism. This effect becomes a lifetime. You will have the opportunity to guide your child, you will help them live without reducing their quality of life, and there will be no harm to family relationships dynamics.
If we accept that autism is a spectrum, we also accept that the effect of ASD differs from baby to baby. The treatment plan is also customized for each baby based on his or her needs. Multidisciplinary treatment plans, which are observed to be very beneficial and convenient today, may be required with active parent participation.
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