What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Getting A Diagnosis
- Getting a professional diagnosis may help you to receive any appropriate funding, support and help you might need.
- Your family, friends and work colleagues may have a better understanding of you and your needs and it may allow them to support you more effectively.
- You may have a greater sense of self-identify if you understand yourself and the spectrum better.
- You may have a better understanding of your experiences as a child or adolescent.
- You may have increased confidence knowing you are part of a larger group of adults that may be like-minded.
Some adults find that by having a better understanding of the challenges associated with autism, they can use their strengths and develop strategies to support these.
Fast fact: Did you know that people on the spectrum commonly show character strengths such as loyalty, kindness, honesty and a lack of judgement?
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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
Support Available For Autistic Children When Becoming Teenagers
Some local authorities have charities operating within them, so search the website of your local author to see what support is available. Some offer buddying volunteers for young people with autism who would otherwise have no peer friendships, while others provide support groups for parents and advice on how to navigate the Education, Health and Care Plan process.
For more details on Aspris Children’s Services, please call 0118 970 8068 or
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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.
What Is The Next Step For Parents Who Have Identified Possible Autism Symptoms In Their 3 Year Old
For parents concerned about possible autism symptoms in their child of any age, the first step is to consult with their primary caregiver or pediatrician. There are widely accepted steps and processes to secure a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder for a child.
If the signs of autism are also accompanied by a delay in other areas of the childs development, or possibly with unique facial features, there may also be a recommendation to proceed with genetic counseling, followed by some form of genetic analysis to confirm or rule out a rare disease.
Some genetic syndromes, including Rett syndrome and Fragile X syndrome, present with autism as the main symptom. Genetic analysis can help parents understand if autism is a stand-alone symptom or part of several unique features that may lead to a rare disease diagnosis.
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Signs Of Autism In Adults
Difficulty understanding the non-written rules of language, resistance to change, and reluctance to engage socially are signs of autism spectrum disorder. Some children and adolescents reach adulthood without facing these struggles. However, when adulthood hits, and the routine and structure of school life are gone, along with parent and teacher support, symptoms become more apparent and impactful.
Thirty to 60 percent of individuals with autism are also affected by ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD and autism often overlap and the signs of each condition may look different in adulthood than they did in childhood. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control, hyperactivity in adults with ADHD may present itself as extreme restlessness or high activity levels that wear out friends and family.
A distinguishing factor between the two conditions is social connectivity. Adults with ADHD often exhibit inattentiveness, social anxieties, and challenges with controlling impulses. Social deficits as a whole are a defining characteristic of an adult autism diagnosis. When a person with ADHD speaks out of turn, it is probably due to lack of impulse control. With autism, talking over someone is likely due to an unawareness of the expectations of speakers and listeners, and a lack of understanding of social contexts.
Other Signs Of Autism In 4
These signs are usually accompanied by some of the other signs listed above:
ASD encompasses a broad range of signs and symptoms. An autistic child may need minimal support in some aspects of their life and more significant support in other aspects.
An autistic child who needs minimal support may have:
- little interest in social interactions or social activities
- difficulty initiating social interactions or maintaining conversations
- trouble with appropriate communication
- trouble adapting to changes in routine or behavior
- difficulty making friends
An autistic child who needs a moderate amount of support, or who needs daily support, may have:
- difficulty coping with a change to their routine or surroundings
- a significant lack of verbal and nonverbal communication skills
- severe and obvious behavioral challenges
- repetitive behaviors that interfere with their daily life
- an unusual or a reduced ability to communicate or interact with others
- narrow, specific interests
An autistic child who needs significant support on a daily basis may:
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Treatment And Support For Mild Autism
Autistic people might benefit from talk therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Although Applied Behavior Analysis is sometimes thought of as a gold standard of autism treatment, the autistic community has raised concerns that this treatment can be abusive and traumatic.
Autistic individuals with low support needs might be able to live independently and work, but they might attend individual therapy to cope with stress and any comorbid diagnoses they might have.
Learn Everything About Your Teen
Most parents do this anyway . But if your teen is autistic and youre not sure what to do, ask them!
Keep an open conversation going with your teen. Ask them to tell you what theyre thinking or write down their thoughts.
If your teen may not have the verbal or writing capacities to share their thoughts or emotions with you, its crucial to observe their behavior and take note of what might trigger certain behavioral responses.
Find what does work to help minimize behaviors that may be disruptive or challenge their ability to get the most out of the resources they have access to.
If you believe their behavior is disruptive or hindering their ability to succeed in ways that theyve expressed interest, try to minimize those triggers or help your teen find coping mechanisms.
Here are some ideas:
- Bright lights a trigger? Keep the lights dim in your home.
- Loud noises disrupt their focus or overstimulate their senses? Buy them some noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.
- Is your teen feeling intense emotion? Give them space, and be understanding. Dont yell, make them feel ashamed, or respond with hurtful language or violence.
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Communication Signs Of Autism In Toddlers
Some common communication signs may include:
- No single words at 12-15 months and no two word phrases by 24 months
- Repeats words without understanding the meaning
- Do not respond to their own name
- Less likely to point at objects or share objects with others
- A visible loss of language or social interactions between 15 and 24 months
Social Communication And Interaction Symptoms
Autistic children and adults often have difficulty connecting with others.
This can result in a range of symptoms, such as:
- inability to look at or listen to people
- no response to their name
- resistance to touching
believe that women and girls are more likely to camouflage or hide their symptoms. This is particularly common among females at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum.
Common forms of camouflaging include:
- forcing yourself to make eye contact during conversations
- preparing jokes or phrases ahead of time to use in conversation
- mimicking the social behavior of others
- imitating expressions and gestures
While both autistic males and autistic females can camouflage their symptoms, it appears to be more common in women and girls. This could explain why theyre less likely to be diagnosed as autistic.
Its important to note that studies looking at differences between autism in women and men have been very small or flawed. Experts still dont have any definitive information about these differences, including whether theyre real or just a result of camouflaging.
A large review comparing behaviors between autistic males and females reported that autistic females may present lower cognitive ability and adaptive functions, but generally levels are similar to autistic males.
Additionally, autistic females were reported to have increased externalizing behaviors. But another study reported that autistic males have greater externalizing behaviors.
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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
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.
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Restricted Or Repetitive Behaviors Or Interests
People with ASD have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by problems with social communication and interaction only.
Examples of restricted or repetitive behaviors and interests related to ASD can include
- Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed
- Repeats words or phrases over and over
- Plays with toys the same way every time
- Is focused on parts of objects
- Gets upset by minor changes
- Has obsessive interests
- Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
- Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
What Are The Next Steps
Signs of autism are usually evident by 4 years old. If youve noticed signs of autism in your child, its important to talk with their doctor to get them screened as soon as possible.
You can start by going to their pediatrician to explain your concerns. The pediatrician can give you a referral to a specialist in your area.
Specialists who can diagnose autism in children include:
- developmental pediatricians
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Autism Signs And Characteristics: Checklist For Adults
If you think you may be on the autism spectrum or you know, love, or work with an adult who you feel might have autism, the following information will help you to better understand the common signs and characteristics relating to adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder .
Many adults may demonstrate the signs or characteristics of autism, but may not have been assessed or diagnosed for a number of reasons, these could include:
- The signs or characteristics are not obvious to those around them.
- People around them are not aware of the signs or characteristics of autism.
- The signs and characteristics do not have a significant impact on the individual, or limit their everyday functioning.
- The person has learnt strategies to support their challenges including masking or camouflaging signs.
- The financial and emotional cost of an assessment.
- Another diagnosis that could account for some of the signs and characteristics demonstrated
- The person self-identifies as autistic, but does not see the benefits of having a formal assessment
- The person does not want a formal diagnosis.
Many adults who demonstrate the behaviours of autism, and are not formally diagnosed, learn to cope with life perfectly well. They might develop meaningful relationships, have satisfying careers, or live an excellent quality of life that satisfies them.
Understand The Autism Spectrum
Autism is a neurological disorder that impacts a persons communication styles and behavior. Prior to 2013, doctors used many terms to describe disorders like this. Now, they are all grouped under the heading autism spectrum disorder .
Three levels exist within the autism spectrum.
- Level 1: This is the mildest version of autism, but people with this disorder still need help with social interactions, planning, organizing, or changes in routines.
- Level 2: This intermediate level of autism also comes with difficulties in communication, planning, and changes in routine. People at this level need more help than those with a milder form of autism.
- Level 3: This is the most severe type of autism, and people with this condition often require substantial help. Some never live independently, talk freely, or connect with strangers.
Within this formal framework, even people with so-called mild autism need support from family members, friends, and therapists to handle everyday life. Those who dont need assistance wont qualify for the diagnosis.
For some families, these rules are too restrictive. They know something is unusual about the way their loved one communicates or behaves, and theyd like more information to understand those differences. Some researchers agree with them.
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Can You Detect Autism In Newborns
Autism spectrum disorder can be identified in babies as young as two months old. Although subtle signs can be missed if not observed closely, there are certain red flags.
Caregivers should observe the developmental milestones of their children to be able to detect early signs of autism. Parents should be aware of the eye contact of the newborns and follow the development.
From birth, all babies will look more at the eye part of faces. According to studies conducted with babies with eye-tracking technology, lack of eye contact is one of the signs that the newborn may have autism.
The following are some of the other signs seen in newborns as they grow older.
An Autism Diagnosis At 3 Years Old
Early intervention is key in improving the long-term outcomes for a child with autism. A confirmed diagnosis before the age of 3, or just after, means improved outcomes for a child with autism. Depending on the severity of autism spectrum disorder symptoms, intervention can include a range of intensive therapies and support options. But regardless of the intervention required, the earlier it happens, the better.
Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means that symptoms can vary widely between different children. Ongoing research also suggests that boys and girls with autism may present with symptoms unique to their gender. It is now also evidenced that higher functioning girls with autism can better mask their symptoms and understand how to mimic behavior that allows them to copy and imitate expected social cues and interactions. This makes continued research essential in deepening our understanding of the condition and its presence in different individuals.
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Early Signs Of Autism
Many children with autism spectrum disorder show hints of the disability within the first year of life. Other children appear to develop with their peers but then suddenly or gradually become withdrawn and lose language skills that they already had. Most children show clear signs of autism before 2 or 3 years of age. However, some kids on the mild end of the spectrum might not be identified as having autism until later in childhood or even adolescence.
Parents of infants and toddlers on the autism spectrum may notice that their child doesnt communicate or interact with adults and children the way that other kids the same age do. Initially, they might assume the problem lies with their childs vision or hearing rather than a delay in their childs development.
Below are some possible signs in the first years of life.
How Can I Spot Signs Of Autism
The earlier treatment for autism spectrum disorder begins, the more likely it is to be effective. Thatâs why knowing how to identify the signs and symptoms is so important.
Make an appointment with your childâs pediatrician if they donât meet these specific developmental milestones, or if they meet but lose them later on:
- Smiles by 6 months
- Imitates facial expressions or sounds by 9 months
- Coos or babbles by 12 months
- Gestures by 14 months
- Speaks with single words by 16 months and uses phrases of two words or more by 24 months
- Plays pretend or âmake-believeâ by 18 months
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