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What Does An Autistic Baby Look Like

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If Your Infant Does Not Look At You This May Or May Not Be A Sign Of Autism

What does a Child with Autism look like?

Lets put it this way: The answer to If my baby wont look at me does this automatically mean autism? is No, says Dr. Lisa Lewis, MD, a board certified pediatrician in Fort Worth, Texas, and author of Feed the Baby Hummus, Pediatrician-Backed Secrets from Cultures Around the World.

Dr. Lewis explains, Poor eye contact is one of many signs of autism. In order to be diagnosed with autism, an older child has to meet the criteria for the diagnosis as described in the DSM-5 from the American Psychiatric Association.

There is way more to that criteria than fails to maintain eye contact with the parents.

Many babies who are less than a month of age dont make good eye contact, as they are learning to use their eye muscles, continues Dr. Lewis.

Poor eye contact in a baby over age six weeks may be a sign of poor vision or an early sign of autism.

However, some babies dont make good eye contact early on for no obvious reason.

Autism cannot be ruled out if a child makes poor eye contact. On the other hand, many children with excellent eye contact are diagnosed with autism.

In short, you should not diagnose your infant with autism based on eye contact.

But the older a baby gets , the more relevant lack of eye contact becomes and the more predictive it is for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder .

Rarely Shares Their Interests With You

Babies are eager to share their interests with you, first with gestures like showing and pointing, and then with sounds and words.

Notice what your baby is paying attention to to figure out what theyre interested in.

If your baby rarely their interests with you, this can be an early sign of autism.

The Earliest Signs Of Autism In Your Baby

Diagnosis of autism by the time a child is 3 months of age is unheard of, but pediatricians are still keeping an eye out for potentially alarming delays in newborns that may point to an underlying issue.

At 3 months of age, most typically developing children will have started to smile, according to the Autism Society. They will also begin to notice and look at faces, especially the faces of those they care about the most.

When presented with a moving object, 3-month-olds should be able to follow that object by moving their gaze or shifting their head.

Some motor delays could also point to ASD in babies, such as being unable to lift their head or bring their hand to their mouth, according to the Autism Society.

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Doesn’t Respond To Your Call

Your child interacts with you and others and has normal play habits and sensory responses, but doesn’t respond to your voice when they have their back turned away from you. This may occur in children with autism along with many other symptoms that point to autism.

You may notice patterns of behavior such as those that involve a sensory processing disorder or a lasting and intense focus on objects or topics along with a lack of:

  • babbling or use of words
  • eye contact
  • engagement

If your child is simply not hearing you, there’s a good chance they are either very engaged in play or have some level of hearing loss. If you find that this is an ongoing issue, it is vital to bring up the issue with your child’s health care provider.

There may be no need to worry just yet that your child has autism.

How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed

This Is What Autism Looks Like In My Child {A Response To ...

Different health care providers evaluate your child to help diagnose ASD. Providers include:

  • Developmental pediatrician. This is a pediatrician who has special training in child development and taking care of children with special needs.
  • Child neurologist. This is a doctor who treats the brain, spine and nerves in children.
  • Child psychiatrist or child psychologist. These are mental health professionals who have special training to take care of children with emotional or mental health problems.
  • Occupational therapist. This is a specialist who helps people learn to carry out everyday activities.
  • For children, this may be things like brushing teeth, getting dressed, putting on shoes or learning to use a pencil.
  • Physical therapist. This is a specialist who creates exercise programs to help build strength and help with movement.
  • Speech therapist. This is a specialist who helps people with speech and language problems. For children this may include helping with saying sounds or words correctly and completely. It can also include in helping children be understood and also understand others.

To evaluate your child, the providers may:

Your childs providers may use medical tests to see if your child has a medical condition with signs or symptoms that are similar to ASD. These include:

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The Importance Of Sensory Play

Children with autism may also have difficulties with sensory processing. This means they may have trouble processing sights, sounds, smells, textures, or anything else that stimulates the senses.

As a result, you may want to explore toys that speak to your childs proprioception , vestibular input , and tactile stimulation .

What If My Child Has Autism

If your child has signs of autism, Dr. Frazier advises scheduling a visit to your pediatrician right away. Youll 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.

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Autism In Girls: What Are The Signs

By Katherine G. Hobbs, AA

Are you a parent with a daughter who you think could be on the autism spectrum? Perhaps you dont know where to start in terms of reaching a diagnosis? Youre not alone.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 54 children in the United States across all ethnic groups and is four times as prevalent in boys than in girls. Various evidence now suggests that this is inaccurate, and more girls are living with ASD than people realize.

ASD is characterized by social communication and social interaction difficulties, according to the DSM-5 classification system. However, research suggests that criteria for diagnosis is based on scientific evidence of autism in boys. As a result, diagnosing girls with autism usually occurs later in their development than it does for males.

Due to this, many girls on the spectrum are left to go through life without the support and help they might need, unsure how to find answers to difficulties they face in their daily living. These challenges, depending on the extent and severity, can cause psychological strain for young girls as well as their families.

To help girls on the spectrum receive an autism diagnosis quicker, it is important for parents to be aware of the possible signs of autism. So, how does autism appear in girls? Lets have a look at this topic and, hopefully, some answers will be offered in this article.

Excessive Interest In Particular Objects Or Activities

What Autism Looks Like: Autism is Treatable

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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Following A Red Object

Lay your baby on his/her back and place a pillow on each side of the babys head, so that he/she cant turn his/her head from side to side very much.

Hold a red ball in your hand and move it slowly from left to right and back again about one foot away from the babys face.

What is the distance, approximately, that your baby follows the balls movement with his/her eyes? If you do this four times, how many times does baby follow the ball, even if he/she scans only a small distance?

Generally, you should expect a typically developing infant to scan and follow the object with his/her eyes all the way to about a foot to the left and to the right. The older the child, the more smoothly he/she will be able to scan without any blinking or jumping5.

How I Know My Baby Was Autistic

Babies are eager to share their interests with you, first with gestures like showing and pointing, and then with sounds and words. Notice what your baby is paying attention to to figure out what theyre interested in. If your baby rarely shares their interests with you, this can be an early sign of autism.

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S That Show What Autism Looks Like

Worry, fear, chaos, exhaustion, hope, love. These are some of the many words parents of kids with autism spectrum disorder use to describe their reality.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, we asked to share what autism looks like in their families. While no two stories are identical, these parents wish for what everyone wants for their children: acceptance and joy.

Keep scrolling to see what autism looks like and read what it means for nearly 50 different families.

Signs That May Suggest Autism In Girls

Is It Autism?

No single symptom is enough to suggest autism. In addition, while some symptoms may become increasingly obvious to you as your daughter gets older, you should be able to look back and realize that they have been present since her toddler years.

Symptoms of autism, in addition, should be severe enough to limit daily function. In other words, if your daughter has one or two of the symptoms of autism but is well-adjusted and successful in other ways it’s unlikely that she’s autistic.

Signs of autism:

  • Your daughter relies on other children to guide them and speak for them throughout the school day.
  • Your daughter has “passionate” and limited interests that are very specific and restricted. For example, while many girls may be fans of a particular TV show, a girl with autism may collect information and talk endlessly about the characters, locations, props, or actors, but know little or nothing about the plot or genre of the show.
  • Your daughter is unusually sensitive to sensory challenges such as loud noise, bright lights, or strong smells. Sensory challenges are not unique to autism, but they are one symptom of the disorder.
  • Your daughter’s conversation is restricted to her topics of interest. She may share her areas of specific and restricted fascination, but have no interest in hearing another person’s response. This may interfere with her ability to join groups or make friends.
  • Your daughter has epileptic seizures .
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    Signs Your Child Might Have Autism

    Does my child have autism?

    If youre asking this question, chances are you already have some serious concerns and that alone is enough to make most parents feel scared, bewildered, and alone.

    But the fact is, many parents find themselves looking for signs of a possible problem and asking this question simply out of an abundance of caution. Thats just good parenting and its only natural with the amount of attention autism has received in recent years. The good news is, most of the time concerned parents discover that everything is absolutely fine. Noticing a single red flag or even identifying a combination of concerns often amounts to nothing more than a childs individuality expressing itself as some slight variation in normal developmental progress.

    And on the other side of the coin, even if there is reason to believe your child may fall somewhere on the spectrum, the news is still good: You are not alone Your child will go to school just like the other kids and learn in a regular classroom You will get the help you need and your insurance will cover most of the expense Breathe everything is going to be all right.

    Before you start arriving at any conclusions at all, its important that youre very clear about one thing: You may be able to identify some traits that indicate the possibility of autism, but only a medical professional is in a position to say for sure.

    • Difficulty with social interactions

    Reduced Emotion In Facial Expressions

    Facial expressions are a nonverbal way to communicate thoughts and feelings.

    Research on emotional expression in autistic infants is limited, but in studies involving school-age children, researchers have found that autistic children display less emotion through facial expressions than children with nonautistic development.

    That doesnt necessarily mean autistic children are feeling less emotion, just that less of it shows on their faces when they do.

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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 only problems with social communication and interaction.

    Examples of restricted or repetitive interests and behaviors 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

    Early Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

    What Autism looks like (ASD)

    Studies have shown that autism can be diagnosed as early as 14 months. It typically appears in the early ages of an individual.

    This means that the infants first year is crucial in terms of the diagnosis of the disorder.

    Many children with autism spectrum disorder show developmental differences. This can especially be seen in their social and language skills. There are certain developmental milestones babies hit while they are growing up.

    Parents and caregivers should observe their childrens behaviors so as to be able to catch the disorder early on.

    The 10 early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children can be as follows:

    • Little to no eye contact during infancy,
    • No babbling,
    • Not expressing emotions,
    • Not seeming attached to parents.

    Subtle differences caused by autism may appear before the childs first birthday. These differences will be visible in childrens interaction with their surroundings.

    When 2-months old, babies generally begin to smile at people, coo, and are able to pay attention to faces. This may not be the case for children with autism spectrum disorder. By 6 months, if a baby

    • doesnt smile,
    • doesnt smile as big,
    • is not showing any other warm, joyful, and engaging expressions

    It may be a sign of autism spectrum disorder.

    By 9 months, children with ASD:

    • make limited or no eye contact with anyone
    • dont share sounds,
    • dont smile back-and-forth with parents.

    Before their first birthday, babies on the autism spectrum,

    Also Check: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism

    Early Signs Of Autism In Preschool Kids

    You may notice differences in your childs behaviors and communication right before they go to school. Some of these signs may mean that your kid is at risk for autism spectrum disorder. Here are some of the signs listed by CDC:

    • Speaking less than 15 words
    • Seeming confused by the function of everyday items
    • Not responding to their name when called
    • Not walking
    • Has repetitive behaviors like rocking back and forth

    Most girls show symptoms in infancy or early childhood. But they may not be recognized.

    Some studies suggest that certain symptoms are seen more commonly in boys than in girls. Repetitive behaviors, for instance, may appear more often in boys. They are easier to spot.

    In addition, girls deal with ASD differently than boys. They may hide their symptoms or spend more energy on adapting to social norms.

    They are more able to form friendships. This may cause ASD to not be determined early on.

    Rarely Responds To Their Name Of Other Bids

    Babies are tuned to listen to your voice when you call their name, they respond by looking toward you.

    Babies readily respond to other social bids, like:

    • come here with your arms reaching out
    • wave bye-bye as youre leaving
    • touch your nose
    • or look where youre pointing

    Some children with autism dont respond by looking where youre pointing but instead look at your hand.

    If your baby rarely responds to their name or other bids for social interaction, this can be an early sign of autism.

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    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.

    How Can An Asd Diagnosis Help A Girl With Autism

    Why early diagnosis of autism in children is a good thing

    Just as with their male counterparts, women and girls with autism benefit from early intervention. An early diagnosis can mean earlier access to therapies and resources. It can also mean more time for the girl and her family to learn how to manage an ASD diagnosis. Early intervention is key, but a diagnosis later in life is better than no diagnosis at all.

    According to Dr. Susan F. Epstein, a clinical neuropsychologist, girls with autism can often end up wondering whats wrong with them and suffer from poor self-esteem, depression, and can become vulnerable to bullying.

    Young and adult women who are diagnosed with autism might have to play catch-up on social skills and coping mechanisms. However, after an adjustment period, most women and girls find relief from receiving their diagnosis. After a diagnosis, you and/or your child can meet with autism experts, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, or other professionals who can answer questions and help long-term.

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