Causes Of Toe Walking In Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Toe walking has a positive association with language disorders in children however, research studies have failed to explain the neurophysiological cause of this association
It is uncertain what the underlying mechanism is behind the increased rate in observed toe walking present in autismhowever, it is speculated to be linked to differences in tactile/sensory responses.
Early Signs Of Autism In Babies
Parents can sometimes detect early signs of autism spectrum disorder in babies under 12 months old. Here’s what you need to know.
Watching your baby grow is an unforgettable experience. But while every child develops at their own level, failing to reach certain milestones could raise red flags. Some parents recognize signs of autism spectrum disorder when their baby is around 6-12 monthsand maybe even earlier, says Thomas Frazier, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist, autism researcher, and chief science officer of Autism Speaks. Here are the early signs of autism in babies, and why prompt diagnosis is key to managing the condition.
What To Do If You Suspect Autism
Firstly, do not blame yourself or your parenting skills. Its still researched and debated what the factors are that create autism in children. But it has nothing to do with how good or fit of a parent you are to your child.
Secondly, you will want to seek the advice of a medical professional in confirming your suspicions by booking an appointment at a development assessment center. For example, in the state of Texas, parents can book development assessment appointments online to confirm an autism diagnosis. Make a list of the various differences you notice in your child that you consider abnormal so that you dont miss anything that could help a potential diagnosis.
As previously mentioned, early intervention is key in helping your child develop coping skills for their autism as well as help your family establish an environment that will support your child. Sometimes as well depending on the severity of symptoms, intervention can possibly even reverse some habits and let them live a normal life.
Whichever the case, bringing abnormal behavior to your doctors attention is key for any suspected illness. Its better to be overly cautious and ask as many questions as possible than take a wait and see approach and potentially miss intervening early.
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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.
Being On The Spectrum Can Mean A Wide Variety Of Experiences
Autism is described as a spectrum of disorders for a reason. Signs of autism can present differently.
Some individuals will have significant behavior and communication challenges that make the possibility of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis more likely.
In other cases, caregivers may notice occasional atypical behaviors but that dont immediately cause them to seek a full behavioral health evaluation.
In the latter scenario, a child may never have their autism diagnosed or addressed therapeutically. Its possible that mildly-expressed forms of ASD behavior go completely unnoticed.
But another possibility is that an undiagnosed child or their caregiver will feel frustrated by a lack of explanation for certain behavioral events. They may struggle with socialization, for instance, or they may lack commitment to extracurricular activities.
Ignoring the possibility of an autism diagnosis, especially if a child seems mostly neurotypical, can make it more difficult for them to adjust and have their needs met. For this reason, teachers and caregivers who observe subtle signs of ASD should speak with a mental health professional.
A childs parents, teachers, and others with a direct role in their life are the best observers when it comes to picking up on a possible autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Only a licensed mental health professional can come to a full, accurate diagnosis, but you dont have to be a professional to suspect that an ASD diagnosis is possible.
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What Are The Causes Of Autism
Experts donât fully understand all of the causes of autism spectrum disorder. It seems to be genetic, but things such as parental age and prescription medications taken during pregnancy may be involved.
- A person is more likely to be on the spectrum if a brother, sister, or parent is. But it doesnât always run in families.
- About 10% of kids with ASD have a form of genetic disorder such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome.
- A large Danish study found a link between ASD and advanced parental age of either parent.
- Women prescribed opioids just before pregnancy are likelier to have a child with ASD.
Some children who are on the spectrum start showing signs as young as a few months old. Others seem to have normal development for the first few months or years of their lives and then they start showing symptoms.
But up to half of parents of children with ASD noticed issues by the time their child reached 12 months, and between 80% and 90% noticed problems by 2 years. Children with ASD will have symptoms throughout their lives, but itâs possible for them to get better as they get older.
The autism spectrum is very wide. Some people might have very noticeable issues, others might not. The common thread is differences in social skills, communication, and behavior compared with people who arenât on the spectrum.
Signs Of Autism In Girls
The ratio of boys to girls diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is 4:1. However, there is some evidence that autism is going undiagnosed in girls, particularly those who are at the higher functioning end of the spectrum.
There is discussion around whether girls and women with autism may display different symptoms to boys and men, and that the current diagnostic criteria may be biased towards boys and stereotypical male behavior. Girls and women may also be better able to mask difficulties with social interactions than boys, and this may delay a diagnosis. New diagnostic criteria may be needed to assess ASD in girls and women. Past theories, including controversies such as the extreme male brain, may have led to under-referral and under-diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in girls and women.
Signs that a girl may have autism include:
- Difficulties with social interactions however, differences from typical autism symptoms may include:
- Better grasp of emotions and ability to make friends than boys
- May mask lack of intuitive understanding of social situations by repeating role-plays seen in real life or film/television
- May be able to make friends but find difficulty keeping them
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When To Seek Medical Advice
Early intervention is very important in children with autism spectrum disorder. Services such as speech therapy and behavioral and skills training are more effective if begun when a child is young.
For this reason, it is helpful to receive a diagnosis as early as possible. However, many children remain undiagnosed until they are in school. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adults.
If you suspect someone has autism, including yourself, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
Should I Get My Child Assessed
You should get your child assessed for ASD if:
- you have concerns
- you notice any signs or symptoms
- your child has a close relative with ASD
Normally, your health care provider will test your child first. You can help your health care provider understand the unusual behaviour you see by:
- taking photographs
- maintaining logs or diaries
- capturing these behaviours on video
If there are concerns, then your health care provider should refer you to a specialist for more tests. A specialist is the best person to help diagnose your child.
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Little Pointing Or Gesturing
Babies usually learn to gesture before they learn to talk. In fact, gesturing is one of the earliest forms of communication. Autistic children generally point and gesture much less than children with nonautistic development. Less pointing can sometimes indicate the possibility of a language delay.
Another indicator of a developmental difference is when an infants gaze doesnt follow you when youre pointing at something. This skill is sometimes called joint attention. Joint attention is often decreased in autistic children.
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.
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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.
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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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
Can A Child Outgrow A Sensory Processing Issue
While kids with sensory processing issues may need therapy into adulthood , they can learn to better cope with the sounds, smells and other sensations that they encounter as they grow.
In the meantime, you can form a team with your childs occupational therapist and pediatrician to note any improvements in behavior once therapies have begun.
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They Struggle To Communicate
A child with autism spectrum disorder can show a significantly reduced variety of sounds, words and gestures when they try to communicate.
When theyre struggling with something, they may not call out for assistance as other toddlers tend to do.
Toddlers with autism may not play with others or show interest or enjoyment in what theyre doing. If you notice your toddler consistently doesnt seek out social interactions with you or other children, it may be worth discussing with your doctor.
Toddler Toe Walking: What To Know
Parents wait expectantly for the day their child toddles uneasily across the floor for the first time. Unfortunately the triumph and pride can turn to concern and worry when a toddler is moving in atypical ways like toe-walking. But a toddler walking on toes is not necessarily in-itself a reason for parents to be on red alert. There are a number of potential reasons for tip toe walking and only rarely do they relate to larger concerns like autism or cerebral palsy.
Heres what parents of toe walking toddlers need to know.
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Signs Of Autism In Babies And Toddlers
According to the CDC, every one in 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder.
As with any health issue, its best to get diagnosed as early as possible. The same goes for children with autism.
Many children dont get diagnosed until theyre older, even though experienced professionals are able to make reliable diagnoses by age 2. The average age of diagnosis is 4 years old, with some variance based on the type of disorder.
Heres the breakdown from the CDC:
- Autistic disorder: 3 years, 10 months
- Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified : 4 years, 1 month
- Asperger disorder: 6 years, 2 months
Its important to pay close attention to a childs behavior early on to see if theyre displaying the signs of autism, as early intervention is beneficial. And research also shows that parents generally notice developmental differences in their child even before he or she is a year old. If your parental instinct tells you something may be delayed in your child, its a very good idea to trust that and seek an expert opinion.
Theres no one medical test that can determine if a child has an autism spectrum disorder, but there are a number of behaviors and developmental delays that could indicate your child has autism.
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
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Early Signs Of Autism
Signs of autism in babies
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder, which means that signs become apparent as a child does not develop as expected, for example developing speech or learning to crawl later than expected.
As such, there are few signs of autism that are noticeable in newborns. However, if a baby fails to reach the developmental milestones expected at two months old, four months old, six months old, nine months old and a year old, this could be one of the first signs of autism or another developmental condition.
Good to know: Not all babies reach developmental milestones at the exact same time. It is normal to have some variation in development. If in doubt about a childÃ¢â¬â¢s development, check with a doctor.
Some of the early signs that a baby under one year old may have autism spectrum disorder include:
- Not babbling by four months old
- Not smiling by five months old
- Not laughing by six months old
- No interest in games like pat-a-cake or peek-a-boo by eight months old
- Not responding to their name by 12 months old
- Not looking at objects pointed out by other people by 12 months old
- Being upset by loud noises
- Not looking to a parent for comfort in new situations
- Being happy to play alone for long periods of time
- Not making eye contact
Signs of autism in toddlers
Some of the signs that a toddler, between one year old and two years old, may have autism spectrum disorder include:
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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My Child Has Signs Of Autismnow What
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 help your baby cope with autism symptoms and possibly even reverse them. As your child gets older, intervention 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.
Little Or No Imitatin Other People Of Pretending
They use a variety of functional actions like putting a sippy cup in their mouth to drink and a spoon in their mouth to eat.
From this, they learn to pretend in play they may offer you a sip with a cup or bottle, give Teddy bear a hug and cover him with a blanket or jiggle a pan with invisible stuff inside to pretend to cook.
Children with autism usually have strengths in using objects in solitary play.
If your child is showing little or no imitating of others, and is not beginning to pretend in play, it can be an early sign of autism.
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Dont Be Afraid Learn The 16 Early Signs Of Autism
Its going to be a problem eventually that you will have to deal with. Dont be afraind. Dont let that stop you from helping your child. Jacobis mom
Go to BabyNavigator.com to find tools and resources on what every parents needs to know about early learning. Because, what you do and say can make all the difference.