What Is A Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that people can experience a wide range of symptoms and of varying severities. For example, a person with autism who is towards the high functioning range of the spectrum will have a good grasp of language, but a person towards the low functioning range of the spectrum may not speak at all.
As such, it is important to note that a person with autism spectrum disorder will not display all symptoms and symptoms will vary in severity. However, a person with ASD will display several of these behaviors and signs.
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.
What Is The Outlook For People With Autism Spectrum Disorder
In many cases, the symptoms of ASD become less pronounced as a child gets older. Parents of children with ASD may need to be flexible and ready to adjust treatment as needed for their child.
People with ASD may go on to live typical lives, but there is often need for continued services and support as they age. The needs depend on the severity of the symptoms. For most, it’s a lifelong condition that may require ongoing supports.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Through research, there has been much that has been learned about autism spectrum disorder over the past 20 years. There is ongoing active research on the causes of ASD, early detection and diagnosis, prevention and treatments.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/29/2020.
Advice On Managing Behaviour In Autism For Adolescents
If you think that your teenager may be autistic, or you have an autistic child and want to know what to expect when they become a young adult, we have outlined the symptoms that can appear as an autistic child becomes an adolescent.
You will also find the steps to take if you believe that your teenager is autistic, and the strategies that can help you to manage particular behaviours.
Problems Processing Physical Sensations
Many individuals with autism have sensory difficulties. They may find specific noises, tastes, smells, or feelings intolerable. Noisy public places can lead to emotional distress, as can uncomfortable clothing or unwanted touches. These issues can be disruptive and stressful, but according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, autism symptoms can improve over time as children with mild autism learn to regulate their own behavior through work with professionals.
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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.
Repeating Phrases Or Babble
While many young kids babble or repeat themselves, Pandey says young children with autism may repeat the same jargony phrase over and over again in the exact same wayalmost like theyre singing the verse of a song. I had one child who would repetitively count the way he heard it on Elmo, she says. This is known as scripted language, she adds. Repeating a phrase or babble with odd rhythms or in sing-song voice are also warning signs, Mayo Clinic experts say.
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How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated
ASD is most often a life-long condition. Both children and adults with autism benefit from behavioral interventions or therapies that can teach new skills to address the core deficits of autism and to reduce the core symptoms. Every child and adult with autism is unique. For this reason, the treatment plan is individualized to meet specific needs. It is best to begin interventions as soon as possible, so the benefits of therapy can continue on throughout the course of life.
Many people with ASD often have additional medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal and feeding issues, seizures and sleep disturbances. Treatment can involve behavioral therapy, medications or both.
Early intensive behavioral treatments involves the entire family and possibly a team of professionals. As your child ages and develops, treatment may be modified to cater to their specific needs.
During adolescence, children benefit from transition services that promote skills of independence essential in adulthood. The focus at that point is on employment opportunities and job skill training.
Screening Tools And Tutorials
There are some great screening tools and tutorials to help parents and carers spot the early warning signs for autism. Below are some we highly recommend. Please be mindful that they are just screening tools, and not a diagnosis.
Early autism detection – ASDetect
This is a free app that empowers parents and caregivers to assess the social attention and communication behaviours of their children younger than 2Â½ years .This video-led self-assessment app is based on comprehensive, rigorous, world-class research conducted at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre
The app guides parents and carers through each assessment using a combination of videos and questions, as well as activities that you can do with your child. Once you have completed an assessment, you receive both an on-screen result of either âlowâ or âhighâ likelihood of autism, as well as a comprehensive formal assessment results email. See more asdetect.org/
Early signs of autism tutorial Kennedy Krieger Institute
This free 9-minute video tutorial on ASD behavioural signs in one-year-olds. The tutorial consists of six video clips comparing toddlers who show no signs of ASD to toddlers who show early signs of ASD.
Each video is presented with voice-over explaining how the specific behaviours exhibited by the child, as they occur on screen, are either indicative of ASD or typical child development.
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Delayed Language Or Speech
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 National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says language development could be uneven, with exceptional language development in some areas and impairment in other areas.
Signs Of Autism In Babies
Some parents recognize autism signs when their child is 6-12 months old, depending on the symptoms and their severity. Pay attention to whether or not the baby is reacting to social information and the environment. Within the first year of life, babies start to babble and use gestures like pointing, says Dr. Frazier, adding that babies may also smile at their caregivers. Baby noises should have some social function as well, and they should try communicating with parents. Babies with autism sometimes fail to communicate through sounds or gestures, and may not respond to social stimulation.
Here are other early signs of autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
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Common Signs Of Autism
Some of the more common signs that may indicate a person has autism include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Delayed speech and communication skills
- Reliance on rules and routines
- Being upset by relatively minor changes
- Unexpected reactions to sounds, tastes, sights, touch and smells
- Difficulty understanding other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s emotions
- Focusing on or becoming obsessed by a narrow range of interests or objects
- Engaging in repetitive behavior such as flapping hands or rocking
- Children not responding to their name by 12 months
- Children not pointing at distant objects by 14 months
Worried you or someone you know might have some of the signs of autism? The Ada app can help you check symptoms. or find out more about how it works.
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.
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Caring For An Autistic Child
Caring for an autistic child can present challenges, and the following strategies may help improve the quality of life for the child and their caregivers:
- Creating a safe zone: Autistic children may need extra support to feel safe and secure in their homes. Healthcare providers who know the child can suggest specific ways to create a safe home environment.
- Providing consistency: Structure and routine are important and can help support the childs learning and development. It may help to develop a strict daily schedule for various activities.
- Helping anticipate change: Give the child advance warning of any changes to their routine. Using photographs or drawings can help communicate these upcoming changes.
- Providing positive reinforcement: Reward the child for positive behavior and progress, even if the progress seems small.
- Avoiding sensory overload: Some autistic children are overwhelmed by loud noises, bright colors, or flashing lights, and it can help to avoid anything that inundates the childs senses.
- Being flexible with communication: If the child has difficulty communicating their feelings or intentions, it can help to work with the child to develop gestures or facial expressions for communicating things such as Help! or Im stressed.
- Getting outside: At first, it can be difficult to get an autistic child to visit new places, but working at this can help build their confidence and improve the childs quality of life.
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.
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What If Your Child Shows Some Early Signs Of Autism
Any one of these signs may not be a problem. But in combination, they may signal a need to conduct a screening or diagnostic evaluation.
As a general guide, if your child shows any 4 of these early signs, use our free online Social Communication CheckUp to screen your baby for autism.
If your child shows 8 or more of these early signs, ask for a referral for a diagnostic evaluation.
Talk to your childs doctor or teacher about any of these early signs or contact your local early intervention program. Share this article with them.
Rarely Shares Enjoyment With You
Babies readily share enjoyment with you by smiling or laughing and looking at you.
Some children with autism smile to show theyre happy but dont their enjoyment.
Others show little facial expression or have flat affect and rarely smile so you may not know when theyre happy.
If your baby rarely shares enjoyment with you, especially when youre available to interact, this can be an early sign of autism.
Are Siblings At Greater Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
The truth is that genetics do play a role in autism. When one child is diagnosed with ASD, the next child to come along has about a 20% greater risk of developing autism than normal. When the first two children in a family have both been diagnosed with ASD, the third child has about a 32% greater risk of developing ASD.
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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Getting A Second Opinion
If your doctor is unsure if a diagnosis of autism is appropriate for your infant, the CDC recommends seeking a second opinion. The earliest interventions can serve as building blocks for your childs future therapies.
They also suggest acting early as interventions can change your childs developmental path and improve outcomes in school and relationships. The CDC cites that, in the first three years of a childs life, his/her behaviors are most malleable and that children are more likely to change undesirable habits and adopt positive ones most willingly during these years. They suggest trying several interventions until you find one your child responds to best.
Individuals With Asd May Present Withsome Of The Following Exceptional Characteristics:
- Non-verbal reasoning
- Exceptional memory
- Perceptual motor skills
- Computer proficiency
- Exceptional skills in creative and imaginative expression
- Visuospatial ability
The above exceptional skills may be combined with subtle characteristics in other areas of development. All individuals with the diagnosis demonstrate some of the following:
Lack of awareness
Autism is characterized by an impaired ability to engage in social relationships and can result in serious deficits in the ability to make friendships. In fact, children on the autism spectrum often behave as if other people do not exist. This is demonstrated in various ways, including failure to respond to their names when called, appearing not to listen when spoken to, an inability to display appropriate facial expressions, avoidance of eye contact, a failure to respond to affection and sometimes treating people as if they were inanimate objects. Often children will acknowledge an adult only for the purpose of getting a need gratified and will return to ignoring the adult thereafter.
If a child with autism possesses any social skills, they are characteristically rote and awkward in nature. Individuals with autism also experience problems maintaining reciprocal relationships. Additional difficulties center around an inability to take on anothers perspective , feelings and emotions, or provide or seek comfort, in conventional ways.
Unusual seeking of comfort when stressedUnusual toy play
Differences In Verbal Communication
Autistic children may have a different style of verbal communication, compared with their peers who do not have ASD. An autistic 4-year-old may, for example:
- not respond to their name
- speak in a monotone voice
- continually repeat words or phrases
- forget language used previously
- have difficulty with two-way communication
- be less likely than their peers to initiate conversations
- tend to interpret information literally, which may seem like an inability to understand jokes or sarcasm
- have difficulty communicating their thoughts and feelings
Helping Your Child Thrive
Children develop differently and thats okay! As a parent, the best thing you can do is be aware of some of these signs of early autism and seek services if necessary. Early intervention can help children develop social and communication skills.
If you have questions about autism evaluation or you want to schedule an appointment with Developmental Pediatrics in Texas, contact us today.
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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.
What Are The 3 Main Signs Of Autism In Children
According to the National Autistic Society, Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.
It may be that your childs teacher has approached you regarding your child displaying signs of autism or perhaps you have your own suspicions. Whatever the case, if you suspect that your child has signs of autism you should speak to a health professional such as your GP or child’s Health Visitor so that steps can be made to assess your child and ensure that they have access to the right support.
A top tip – before speaking to a health professional, make a note of all of autism signs you have noticed and any questions that you may have. This will ensure that you don’t forget anything.
The road to a diagnosis can sometimes take time but its important to remember that a diagnosis does not change the child that you love. A diagnosis can help people to understand your childs behaviour better and ensure that they receive the correct support at school and that you receive support at home too.
Signs of Autism in children
Communication and Interaction Difficulties
Autistic children can have difficulties communicating with others. Autism is a spectrum disorder and as such the range of communication difficulties can vary greatly. Some signs include:
Restrictive and Repetitive Behaviours
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