Very Focused On Or Attached To Unusual Objects
Babies with autism can be very focused on or attached to objects that are unusual for their age, such as long strips of cloth, utensils, chains, rocks, sticks, flowing water, or gadgets they can take apart and put together.
If your child is very focused on or attached to unusual objects, this may be an early sign of autism.
Learn The Tools Of Therapy
As recently as 10 years ago, autism and the Applied Behavior Analysis were synonymous. ABA is one of the oldest and best-researched types of therapies for treating children with autism; it works with the principles of rewarding a child when he learns something or exhibits good behavior. It has worked wonders for some children and has the most research to support its effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of autism. It is often the first therapy parents pursue for their children, but is not the only or the right therapy for all.
Now there are several other effective forms of therapies for children with autism: the Floortime method, the rapid prompting method, the Picture Exchange Communication System, verbal behavior analysis, sensory diets, and speech, occupational, and physical therapies. Goring says it’s important to remember that a combination of therapies may be needed and that one therapy can work for a while before it plateaus. “There’s no road map to what will work best for your child,” she explains. “Go online and research first. Talk to other parents to see what you may want to try with your child. Document the progress. I started making a video diary of my son when he was diagnosed 14 years ago. It was a visual way to see what was working, when things started working, and when we needed to change things up.”
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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Learn To Listen Without Your Ears
Learn to listen with your eyes. Having a delay in speech development or being nonverbal does not mean your child isnt communicating. Everything we do, even silence, is communication. The sooner you understand how your child communicates, the easier it will be to interact and respond to their language.
Speech therapy may focus on a number of aspects, including:
- nonverbal communication
- social pragmatics
Just remember: Everything your child does it trying to tell you something, so be sure to listen!
Get Organized And Keep Good Records
As parents of children with autism embark on treatment and therapies for their child, one of the most important things they can do is to keep accurate and organized records. “Over the years, as we got bogged down with progress and regression, it was often hard to see and remember what my son had learned, what he had accomplished, how far he had come, and what he still needed to learn,” Goring remembers. “So we’d go back and watch the videos we made of him from certain points in his life to remind ourselves of how much he had accomplished versus how he was now.” With evaluations from doctors and schools, educational records, detailed data from behavioral, medical, and biomedical therapies, and doctor’s notes and recommendations, the vast amount of records and paperwork can bury parents.
Some parents organize their child’s records within binders, year by year. Others create files grouped by subject: medical, educational, therapy, etc. Many autism organizations now advise scanning all documents and saving them in online file-sharing sites to reduce paper trails. “Figuring out a good organizational method early on is key,” Goring says. “You need to hold on to pretty much everything because you need to be able to look back on what you have done, how you have paid for treatment, and what has and hasn’t worked.”
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Plan Playdates And Social Time
It’s important for kids with autism to socialize with their peers, even if sometimes it can be challenging for them. Playdates and other activities are some much-needed chances to practice social skills and make new friends. Those who are struggling can sign up for a social skills group, which helps with things like introducing yourself, talking to others, reading social cues, and more.
When helping your child choose a playmate, look for someone who shares the same interests. Pre-plan the activities , and avoid places with too much noise and stimulation if you think it will overwhelm your child. Let your child know what to expect ahead of time. Consider using a visual schedule with pictures or create social stories to help “tell ahead” what will happen during a playdate.
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.
What Can Mimic Autism
Developmental delays such as language, speech, or hearing problems can often be mistaken for autism. There are also a number of specific disorders that are characterized by similar behavioral symptoms to autism. According to the Autism Research Institute, Williams Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, and Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, are all closely related to autism.
Things To Do When You Find Out Your Child Has Autism
Finding out your child has autismcan be emotionally trying and overwhelming. After diagnosis, parents are likely filled with uncertainty and may wonder what to do next. The tips below are a starting point to help guide you in the right direction as your family navigates life with autism.
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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:
How Accurate Is It
This quiz is;NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by licensed healthcare professionals. If youd like to learn more about autism read;Psycoms guide to;autism spectrum disorder .
Psycom;believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.
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Inspecting Toys Rather Than Playing With Them
Most young kids will inspect a toy before playing with it. But a child with autism may not move past the inspection phase, Pandey says. So while a child without autism will race a car along the floor, or fly an airplane through the air, a child with autism might continue to spin the cars tires or examine the bottom of the plane. Their interest is in the parts of the object rather than the whole, she says.
If another child tries to interact or play with him, a child with autism may not know how to react.
Make Sure It’s The Right Diagnosis
When parents hear a doctor’s diagnosis of autism, it can be the worst news to receive. Pamela J. Compart, M.D., a developmental pediatrician with HeartLight Healing Arts in Columbia, MD, stresses getting a diagnosis from the right people: “There’s no slam dunk to diagnosis. Some kids are diagnosed through the school system and not through a professional, but your child should see a developmental pediatrician or a neurologist with an interest in autism.” Dr. Compart advises that children gets a hearing test because neurological hearing loss can seem like autism.
Autism has no known cure — no surgery, medicine, or therapy. There is no typical path of treatment that works for all children with autism, but there is treatment, says Dr. Compart. Before any treatment can be discussed, parents have to get past absorbing the news. “Even if you thought your child has autism, it’s different when you hear the word. In the doctor’s office, you’ll hear lots of things, but you may forget them. You have permission to call your doctor back.”
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Early Signs Of Autism In Babies
Learn about the signs and symptoms of autism in babies from 0 to 12 months.
Watching your baby grow is an unforgettable experience. But while every child develops at her 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 months and maybe even earlier, says Thomas Frazier,;PhD, 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 treating the condition.
Early Signs Of Autism In Children
Early diagnosis means early intervention. It helps provide your child a higher quality of life through teaching life skills with therapies and games.
There are certain signs to look out for while your child is growing up. They hit developmental milestones, indicating that their social, communicative and behavioral developments are on track.
Here are some of the early signs that your child may need to be further examined and tested by your physician.
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How Do You Know If Your Child Has Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD can be hard to diagnose. Theres no medical test, like a blood test, to check for ASD. No two children with ASD have the exact same signs or symptoms. Providers diagnose ASD by looking at your childs behavior and development.
Children with ASD usually show signs or symptoms when theyre 12 to 24 months old, but some may have them earlier or later. Some children with ASD develop normally until theyre around 18 to 24 months old, but then they stop gaining new skills or lose the skills they once had. This is called regression.
Babies may show signs of ASD before their first birthday if they have severe developmental delays. Developmental delays are when your child doesnt reach developmental milestones when expected. A developmental milestone is a skill or activity that most children can do at a certain age. Milestones include sitting, walking, talking, having social skills and having thinking skills.
Tell your babys health care provider if she isnt meeting her milestones. Its not unusual for a healthy baby to fall behind in some areas or move ahead in others. But babies who dont meet these milestones need their development checked more closely by a provider:
- Babbling by 12 months
- Making gestures by 12 months
- Using single words by 16 months
- Using two-word phrases by 24 months
- Losing language or social skills at any age
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism is not a single disorder, but a spectrum of closely related disorders with a shared core of symptoms. Every individual on the autism spectrum has problems to some degree with social interaction, empathy, communication, and flexible behavior. But the level of disability and the combination of symptoms varies tremendously from person to person. In fact, two kids with the same diagnosis may look very different when it comes to their behaviors and abilities.
If youre a parent dealing with a child on the autism spectrum, you may hear many different terms including high-functioning autism, atypical autism, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. These terms can be confusing, not only because there are so many, but because doctors, therapists, and other parents may use them in dissimilar ways.
But no matter what doctors, teachers, and other specialists call the autism spectrum disorder, its your childs unique needs that are truly important. No diagnostic label can tell you exactly what challenges your child will have. Finding treatment that addresses your childs needs, rather than focusing on what to call the problem, is the most helpful thing you can do. You dont need a diagnosis to start getting help for your childs symptoms.
Whats in a name?
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Finding Out Your Child Has Autism
The day I discovered I was pregnant with our first child was one of the happiest days of my life. My husband and I had been married for three years and were ready to expand our party of two. My pregnancy was a healthy one, and I was thrilled about our next stage of life. Brayden, whom we affectionately call Bray, was born a perfectly healthy baby and developed into a sweet, chatty, and constantly smiling toddler. All was well in our world.
And then life seemed to come to a screeching halt. After months of lagging development, a complete loss of speech, and a host of unanswered questions, Bray was ultimately diagnosed at three years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder , also known as autism. And suddenly we were overwhelmed with negative emotions and thoughts. At times, we felt like everything was unraveling, including us.
We quickly went from daycare workers requesting to babysit for free because of our well-behaved child, to unfriendly stares from strangers in restaurants. Navigating the emotional, financial, and complex medical issues associated with this diagnosis was taxing. When people ask what those early days were like, three words immediately come to mind:
Disruptive . . . chaotic . . . uncertain.
My husband and I quickly discovered that placing unnecessary energy on that which was beyond our control was defeating. What was empowering was focusing on what we could do and realizing that we didnt have to do it alone.
As Autism Awareness Increases Across The Country More Parents Are Gaining An Understanding That Their Kids Are Not Just Socially Awkward Or Late Bloomers But That They Are Living With An Autistic Spectrum Disorder
There are different levels of disability on the Spectrum. Asperger Syndrome; and High Functioning Autism are the mildest. HFA, though no longer an accepted medical term, refers to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders and is quite similar to AS. However, the two can be differentiated by specific characteristics more commonly associated with one than the other. If you are concerned your child may be living with HFA, understanding the distinct signs and symptoms of HFA may help you decide if you need to look for treatment for autism in Little Rock.
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Choosing When To Tell Your Child About His Diagnosis
Today, thanks to advances in our understanding of autism spectrum disorders, many autistic children are diagnosed at a young age, leaving parents with the task of deciding when their child is old enough to be told about his condition. There is no single right answer to this question, however; children on the spectrum develop at different rates and while one child may have the social awareness and maturity needed to process what an autism diagnosis means by age five or six, another might not be ready until he is eight or ten. Usually, knowing your child well and monitoring his overall developmental progress will provide you with the insight you need to choose the right time to reveal his diagnosis.
If your child is not diagnosed until he is older, choosing when to tell him ought to depend on his overall emotional state: If he is struggling with depression and low self-esteem as a result of prior bullying and other bad experiences, you may wish to wait until his emotional state has been improved by professional intervention. If, on the other hand, your child has received a prior diagnosis of some kind and is therefore comfortable with the concept, he may be ready to hear about his autism diagnosis right away . Once again, observing your child and understanding his current needs and feelings is key to selecting the right time to reveal his diagnosis.
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.
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