Related Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
While not part of autisms official diagnostic criteria, children with autism spectrum disorders often suffer from one or more of the following problems:
Sensory problems Many children with autism spectrum disorders either underreact or overreact to sensory stimuli. At times they may ignore people speaking to them, even to the point of appearing deaf. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound. Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture. They may cringe at a pat on the back or the feel of certain fabric against their skin.
Emotional difficulties Children with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, they may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior . The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities also notes that kids with ASD may be unfazed by real dangers like moving vehicles or heights, yet be terrified of harmless objects such as a stuffed animal.
Savant skills in autism spectrum disorder
Speech And Language Therapy
People with ASD may need help with communication skills. Some are very vocal while others may not speak at all.
Knowing many words does not mean that someone with ASD can communicate in a way that is easily understood. And knowing only a few words may mean that someone with ASD communicates in their own way.
Some people with ASD are well spoken when talking about their favourite topic. However, they may be unable to communicate effectively in other areas.
A speech-language therapist can help people understand and use words to:
- ask for help
- look at books and tell stories
- start, stop or take turns in a conversation
A speech-language therapist can also help people understand and use gestures to communicate. They may:
- work directly with the person using a personalized program
- teach the family, caregivers or teachers helpful skills
How Are We As Autism Parents Guilty Of This
Theres a fine line between expecting too much out of your child, and not expecting enough.
Any time we hold our children to a standard lower than what they are capable of achieving, we are doing them a disservice.
Its a tough line we walk as autism parents. This is why learning about the behaviors associated with an autism diagnosis is so important!
Are you giving your child any chores to routinely do? Expecting them to do a chore perfectly may be too much. Not expecting them to do any chores at all may be too little.
Ask yourself these questions.
- Do I answer for my child or let them speak for themselves?
- Does my kiddo at least make an attempt to clean up after themselves, or do I do all of the work?
- Am I expecting less out of my child because an autism behavior prohibits them from accomplishing a task, or am I just allowing them to not do something simply because they dont want to?
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Other Signs Of Autism
You may also have other signs, like:
- not understanding social “rules”, such as not talking over people
- avoiding eye contact
- getting too close to other people, or getting very upset if someone touches or gets too close to you
- noticing small details, patterns, smells or sounds that others do not
- having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities
- liking to plan things carefully before doing them
What Not To Do With An Autistic Child
- Dont discipline autism
- You shouldnt try to force them to be neurotypical
- Dont act as if their identity is strictly autism
- Do not talk around them as if theyre not there
- No treating them as less because they have autism
- Dont discount their opinions because they have autism
- Never allow them to be bullied
- Dont stop believing in them
As youre going through this list, dont just think of yourself. Think about the other people in your kiddos life.
The teachers, grandparents, coaches, friends, people in your childs life who have a small understanding of ASD, but dont live with it. People who care about your child, but whose life doesnt revolve around him or her.
If we as autism parents are sometimes guilty of the things well talk about today, how much more so are other people in your kiddos life?
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What Causes Autism: 6 Facts You Need To Know
There are lots of frightening rumors about what causes autism, a mysterious brain disorder, in children. We asked leading experts across the country to get you answers.
Nancy Wiseman had a feeling early on that something wasn’t quite right with her daughter. When Sarah was 6 months old, she stopped babbling, and by 10 months, she was silent. By 18 months, the increasingly aloof toddler no longer responded to her name, and she resisted being held, kissed, or touched. “I felt that I was losing my child a little more each day,” says Wiseman, of Merrimac, Massachusetts. When Sarah wasn’t saying any words or even making sounds that resembled words by 20 months, her grandmother, a school psychologist, suspected that the girl might actually be deaf. Instead, Wiseman was devastated to learn that her daughter had autism. “The diagnosis really knocked the wind out of me,” she recalls, “but I was relieved to finally know what was wrong.”
There are many unanswered questions,” says Alice Kau, Ph.D., an autism expert at the National Institutes of Health, which funded more than $74 million in autism research in 2002, as compared with only $22 million in 1997. Still, researchers are beginning to make progress in unraveling this baffling disorder, and the number of resources available for families is increasing. Here, six facts about autism that every parent should know.
First Steps After Receiving An Autism Diagnosis
You have just learned that your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. For some parents, the news comes as a shock, while other parents may have been expecting it. However, almost all parents who receive this diagnosis for their child struggle with reimagining their childs future with this pervasive developmental disability. You are not alone, and it is normal to feel this way. The important thing to know is that, although there is no known cure for autism, there is hope. Your child will be able to learn, grow and gain new skills within their potential. The important first steps are educating yourself about the diagnosis, adjusting the childs home environment to best meet their needs, and seeking professional therapeutic services.
What is autism spectrum disorder?
As the name suggests, children with this diagnosis fall along a spectrum of symptoms that can vary from children who are fairly verbal and described as high functioning to those who have no language abilities and are described as lower functioning. Your childs symptoms and abilities will fit into one of three diagnostic levels to indicate the severity and where they fall on the spectrum:
Level 2: This level requires substantial support. These children may have some verbal or cognitive deficits, and their social impairments are apparent even with supports in place.
What can I do at home to help my child?
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Types Of Support To Help People With Asd
ASD is a lifelong disorder. You cannot change the fact that a person has ASD. But support can significantly improve the ability of that person to be successful in all areas of their life. This support is referred to as intervention.
Intensive intervention and therapy can help a person
- learn new skills
- change some behaviours that interfere with their functioning.
Intervening as early as possible helps most people, so diagnosis in young children is important.
There are many programs and supports available for people diagnosed with ASD. Interventions for ASD can include:
- occupational therapy
- training for parents, families and caregivers
- behavioural therapy, like applied behaviour analysis
- education and school planning in the form of an individual education plan
What Are The Types Of Autism Spectrum Disorders
These types were once thought to be separate conditions. Now, they fall under the range of autism spectrum disorders including:
- Asperger’s syndrome. These children don’t have a problem with language in fact, they tend to score in the average or above-average range on intelligence tests. But they have social problems and a narrow scope of interests.
- Autistic disorder. This is what most people think of when they hear the word “autism.” It refers to problems with social interactions, communication, and play in children younger than 3 years.
- Childhood disintegrative disorder. These children have typical development for at least 2 years and then lose some or most of their communication and social skills.
- Pervasive developmental disorder . Your doctor might use this term if your child has some autistic behavior, like delays in social and communications skills, but doesnât fit into another category.
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Dont Force An Autistic Child To Be Neurotypical
What does it mean to be neurotypical?
To be blunt, in this context it means to not be affected by autism or by a mental illness.
I get it. You want the child to act more normal, but the fact is normal is a relative term.
An autistic child IS normalfor someone with autism!
How you think, what you think, the paradigms in your life, these are all not only normal for you, they are also shared by millions of other people around the world.
On the flip side, even though you may think or feel a million things each day, and millions of other people may think or feel each of those things as well, no one thinks or feels all of them just like you.
YOU are unique.
So is an autistic child.
Imagine though if someone told you that it was wrong for you to think or feel the things that you do. How damaging would that be?
How awful would it be for you to be made to feel as if you were wrong or a bad person for your thoughts or feelings? What negative impacts would that have on your life?
School Services End At Age 22
The moment a person with a disability turns 22, they’re no longer covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act . School is an entitlement, meaning schools are required to provide a free and appropriate education. Adult services, however, are not entitlements. You may or may not qualify for services and, even if you are qualified, the service providers may or may not be funded.
In practice, however, anyone with a significant disability will qualify for and receive at least some adult services. To make this happen, though, you’ll need to know how the transition works in your community, what options are available in your state, and how to qualify for the services you may need.
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Finding The Program Best Suited To My Childs Needs
Each person with ASD is unique and has different needs. Their intervention program should:
- build upon strengths and abilities
- be used at home, school and in the community
- bring together different therapies and interventions that work for that person
- reduce or eliminate behaviours that get in the way of learning and adjustment
A personalized program should also include the familys needs. The chances for success rise when families and caregivers are part of the intervention.
Complete The Interim One
Primary caregivers and independent youth can apply for the funding, but they must complete different forms.
To apply for Ontario Autism Program interim one-time funding, we recommend using any web browser other than Internet Explorer.
A primary caregiver can be the child or youths parent, legal guardian, childrens aid society or any person primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child or youth, including providing care under kinship service or customary care arrangements.
If you have a shared custody agreement for your child or youth with another person or family, only one person who has custody of the child or youth will be eligible to receive this funding on the child or youths behalf.
You share custody if the child or youth lives with you and someone else in separate residences and each parent has them for at least 40% of the time.
An independent youth is someone aged 16 or 17 who has chosen to withdraw from their parent or caregivers care and control.
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Restricted Or Repetitive Patterns Of Behavior Or Activities
In addition to the communication and social issues mentioned above, autism also includes symptoms related to body movements and behaviors.
These can include:
- repetitive movements, like rocking, flapping their arms, spinning, or running back and forth
- lining objects, like toys, up in strict order and getting upset when that order is disturbed
- attachment to strict routines, like those around bedtime or getting to school
- repeating words or phrases they hear someone say over and over again
- getting upset over minor changes
- focusing intently on parts of objects, like the wheel of a toy truck or the hair of a doll
- unusual reactions to sensory input, like sounds, smells, and tastes
- obsessive interests
- exceptional abilities, like musical talent or memory capabilities
Communication And Interaction Tips For Asd
There are no hard-and-fast rules on how to communicate with a child with ASD. But many family members have had success with these tips:
It can be challenging to interact with a child or grandchild with ASD. But it is one of the most important things you can do to help that child learn. Research shows that early, frequent, and loving involvement of family members is one of the best ways to help children with ASD.
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Do I Need An Autism Diagnosis
Some adults may question whether they need a diagnosis later in life. Some people self-identify as autistic without receiving an official diagnosis. Its a personal decision. What can be helpful in receiving the label is access to supports and services that may not be available without a diagnosis, i.e. an income support program that provides additional income if mental health issues prevent being able to work full time. Maybe you need a job coach, a support person to look in on you a couple of times a week, specialized mental health services, or supports in the workplace. A diagnosis can also provide peace of mind and validation that indeed, you do have ASD.
Self-diagnosis in the adult autism community is widely accepted. You can join a support group or get together with other ASD adults without a formal diagnosis. Pursuing a diagnosis can be expensive as most health plans wont cover the cost and it can be difficult to find a professional who is adept at providing an adult diagnosis.
What Causes Autism And Why Are More And More Kids Being Diagnosed With It
Does a friend or family member have a child with autism? Autism rates seem to be skyrocketing. Among children who are 8 years old, autism has nearly doubled from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68 for children born in 2002.
Autism is part of a larger group of related conditions, called autism spectrum disorders , all of which usually involve delayed verbal communication and difficulties in social interactions. Studies suggest that children with autism tend to have other problems with how their brain functions, with as many as 20-30% developing seizures or epilepsy.
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Research Early Signs And Treatment
There’s been widespread controversy about a possible connection between vaccines and the soaring autism rates. Some parents of children whose autistic symptoms first appeared shortly after their measles-mumps-rubella immunization are convinced the shot was the cause, but repeated studies have failed to find scientific evidence. Although one small, heavily publicized British study published in 1998 suggested a link, 10 of the 13 authors publicly retracted the findings in March 2004, saying they were unreliable. The study, lead by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, only studied a small sample of 12 kids, eight of whom were diagnosed with autism. By early 2010, the same British journal, The Lancet, that published his findings retracted his study and in January 2011, the British Medical Journal publicly denounced Dr. Wakefield’s research as “fraudulent.” The British Medical Journalannounced that Dr. Wakefield had “falsified data” and tampered with his research results to give the MMR vaccine bad publicity. At the time of his study, Dr. Wakefield had been involved in a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine and would have gained money if he’d won, making his research an obvious conflict of interest.
Diagnosis In Young Children
Diagnosis in young children is often a two-stage process.
Stage 1: General Developmental Screening During Well-Child Checkups
Every child should receive well-child check-ups with a pediatrician or an early childhood health care provider. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays at their 9-, 18-, and 24- or 30-month well-child visits and specifically for autism at their 18- and 24-month well-child visits. Additional screening might be needed if a child is at high risk for ASD or developmental problems. Those at high risk include children who have a family member with ASD, have some ASD behaviors, have older parents, have certain genetic conditions, or who were born at a very low birth weight.
Parents experiences and concerns are very important in the screening process for young children. Sometimes the doctor will ask parents questions about the childs behaviors and combine those answers with information from ASD screening tools, and with his or her observations of the child. Read more about screening instruments on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Children who show developmental problems during this screening process will be referred for a second stage of evaluation.
Stage 2: Additional Evaluation
This second evaluation is with a team of doctors and other health professionals who are experienced in diagnosing ASD.
This team may include:
The evaluation may assess:
- Blood tests
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