Applied Behavior Analysis Autism
You primary care pediatrician will be looking for medical reasons to rule out and help answer whether your son or daughter is an autistic child. Your active participation is invaluable.
Your doctor will want to know the following based on your childs age
- No babbling, sound making or pointing by age 12 months
- No usage of single words by 16 months
- No 2-word phrases by 24 months
- Any loss of language or social skills at any age
- Echolalia, i.e. repeating certain words or a group of words that are mostly out of context
- Difficulty in using language skills to make requests
- Absence or lack of eye coordination while speaking
- Lack of pointing out something or making gestures
- Challenges with reciprocal conversation
- Improper usage of pronouns, v.i.z. using you instead of I
- Lack of emotion in speech or body language
- Difficulty interpreting emotions and facial expressions
Tip : Find Help And Support
Caring for a child with ASD can demand a lot of energy and time. There may be days when you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or discouraged. Parenting isnt ever easy, and raising a child with special needs is even more challenging. In order to be the best parent you can be, its essential that you take care of yourself.
Dont try to do everything on your own. You dont have to! There are many places that families of children with ASD can turn to for advice, a helping hand, advocacy, and support:
ADS support groups Joining an ASD support group is a great way to meet other families dealing with the same challenges you are. Parents can share information, get advice, and lean on each other for emotional support. Just being around others in the same boat and sharing their experience can go a long way toward reducing the isolation many parents feel after receiving a childs diagnosis.
Respite care Every parent needs a break now and again. And for parents coping with the added stress of ASD, this is especially true. In respite care, another caregiver takes over temporarily, giving you a break for a few hours, days, or even weeks.
Timing Birth Order And Parental Age Impact On Asd Risk:
The duration between the two births should be three years, if not then the chances of suffering from ASD is high. The effect of ASD in a second-born child will be more as compared to the first one. This is so because birth order might have an impact on the severity of ASD.
When parents get older, it affects the risk of having a child with ASD. for example, just as genetic disability such as Down syndrome increases as parents get older, it increases the risk of having a child with ASD.
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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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Questions You Will Probably Answer To At The Pediatricians
Pediatricians are the first step in the diagnosis. You will come across the following question when you visit your childs pediatrician:
- Did your baby smile by 6 months?
- Did he mimic sounds and facial expressions by 9 months?
- Was he babbling and cooing by 12 months?
- Does he have trouble making eye contact?
- Does he interact with people and share experiences?
- Does he respond when someone tries to get his attention?
- Is his tone of voice flat?
- Does he understand other peoples actions?
- Is he sensitive to light, noise, or temperature?
- Any problems with sleep or digestion?
- Does he tend to get annoyed or angry?
If your answer was yes to majority of these questions, you should be prepared for the possibility that your child might be autistic.
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Finding A Kinship With Autism
After the girls were diagnosed, a therapist told Mrs. Olsen that their autism likely “didn’t come from nowhere,” she recalled. “There’s a strong biological component.”
As she learned more about autism, she came upon a book by a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome and recognized herself in its pages. “I read a list of traits for female autism, and it was me to a ‘T.’ I realized that there is a group of people who think like me, and I fit in somewhere.” She joined online communities of women with current or past ASD symptoms, some of whom struggled as children but learned to “blend in” as adults, she said. Many, like Mrs. Olsen, were born before Asperger’s Syndrome became a diagnosis in 1994. Mrs. Olsen does not have an ASD diagnosis, nor is she seeking one.
This kinship with her daughters on the spectrum helps her relate to them in ways that people who do not have autistic symptoms may not, she said. “It’s so helpful to understand how they think.”
How Likely Is It That I Could Have Another Child With Autism
I am a parent of a young boy with autism. I dont know of any other individuals in my family with an autism diagnosis but am considering having more children. How likely is it that I could have another child with autism?
Answered by Scott M. Myers, MD, FAAP, Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, Geisinger Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute, Lewisburg, PA.
This important question is asked by many parents who are considering having more children. The answer depends greatly on whether a specific genetic cause of your childs autism spectrum disorder has been identified. Currently, genetic testing can identify a specific cause in approximately 15% of children with ASD, and this information allows more accurate counseling about recurrence risk for the individual family. In instances where a genetic cause is unknown, different types of studies have found varying rates of recurrence risk.
For families in which a genetic cause of ASD has been identified, the recurrence risk varies significantly depending on the type of genetic problem found. For example, the risk could be as high as 50%, as in the case of a child who inherits a specific extra segment of DNA on the 15th chromosome from his/her mother. Or, the recurrence risk could be as low as 1% or less if the child has a small missing or extra section of DNA that is not carried by either parent.
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What Other Autism Resources May Your Doctor Employ
If any of the issues listed above are present your doctor will advise you to use some developmental screening tools such as Ages and Stages Questionnaire or the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers . These questionnaires are quite simple and to the point. The value will be long-lasting and instrumental in assessing behavioral issues at an early age.
Hope this article clearly addresses your concerns on Does my Child Have Autism. If so, you may want to share this article so that others may find it useful as well. Remember, there is nothing better than autism early intervention! You will then be able to provide your child with the best research and therapies available.
Rates Are On The Rise
An estimated 1 in 40 children in this country have autism to some degree, according to a recent study from Pediatrics based on 2016 data. That’s about 1.5 million children between the ages 3 to 17. Nationwide, autism strikes three to four times more boys than girls the rates are about the same for kids of all races.
Although there seems to be an autism epidemic, the Pediatrics study attributes the increasing prevalence to more inclusive reporting. The definition of autism has been expanded in the past decade to include a wider spectrum of problems with communication and social interaction. “Ten years ago, many children with mild autism were simply not diagnosed,” says Adrian Sandler, M.D., a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Mission Children’s Hospital, in Asheville, North Carolina, and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ committee on children with disabilities. Plus, there are more state and federal programs for autistic kids, giving doctors an incentive to diagnose and refer them. However, there may be additional, unknown reasons for the spike in autism rates, and researchers are investigating everything from environmental toxins to viruses to food allergies.
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Brain Development And Autism
The brain develops differently in autistic children compared with typically developing children.
In young children, the brain is developing all the time. Every time a child does something or responds to something, connections in the brain are reinforced and become stronger.
Over time, the connections that arent reinforced disappear theyre pruned away as theyre not needed. This pruning is how the brain makes room for important connections those needed for everyday actions and responses, like walking, talking or understanding emotions.
In autistic children, the brain tends to grow faster than average during early childhood, especially during the first three years of life. The brains of autistic babies appear to have more cells than they need, as well as poor connections between the cells.
Also, pruning doesnt seem to happen as much in autistic children. This means that information might be lost or sent through the wrong connections. The lack of pruning might also explain why the brain seems to be growing faster in autistic children than in typically developing children.
Its not yet clear what causes this difference in brain development.
Are There Red Flags That Dont Indicate Autism
Even if there is an issue, chances are very good that the problem is not autism . Autism spectrum disorders are characterized, not by a single delay or eccentricity, but rather by a constellation of symptoms. 1 Whats more, those symptoms must not only be present but must also be significant enough to impair function.
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Heightened Sensitivity Or Sensory Aversion
Autism can cause a childs senses to be touchy. A child may enjoy rubbing smooth or soft surfaces, or he may smell everything, Pandey says. But he may not like to be held or cuddled. Everyday sounds might be really hard for them, she says of children with autism. She mentions toilet flushes and vacuum cleaners as common irritants. They might hold their hands up to their ears, she says. A child with autism may also be very sensitive to bright light, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Risk Of Having A Second Child With Autism Shockingly High Study Shows
Parents who have one child with autism have a one-in-five chance of having another child with the disorder a much higher risk than previously thought, a major new study has found.
The risk jumps to one-in-four if the parents are having a boy, and goes even higher to one-in-three if the parents have two children with autism spectrum disorder.
This represents a major change in estimates of risk to younger siblings, said Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, a study co-author and professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta.
Previously, geneticists had estimated the risk of having a second child being diagnosed with autism at between 3 and 10 per cent.
Researchers say the findings will help parents of children with autism make family planning decisions. The study also underscores the importance of closely watching younger siblings for signs of autism so that interventional therapy can be started as early as possible.
It emphasizes that younger siblings truly need to be carefully monitored, Zwaigenbaum said.
The international study, which included researchers from Edmonton, Halifax and Toronto, is the largest yet to investigate the risk of autism recurrence among siblings.
It found infants who had older siblings with autism have a 19 per cent chance of being diagnosed with the disorder. The risk rises to 26 per cent for male infants, and 32 per cent for infants who have two or more older siblings with autism.
Gender selection is a worry, Roberts said.
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When Did Your Autistic Child Start Talking
My son is a little over 2 and half years old and still says ZERO words. He doesnt even imitate words or sounds. He doesnt seem to understand a lot either. We are worried he may stay non verbal. He does communicate in his own way by pointing and directing us to what he wants. When did your child start talking?ETA: he does babble a lot though, thing he didnt do much of before.
I dont have a child with Autism, but have worked with many.each one has a different story. Are you working with a speech therapist yet? Have you tried teaching him some sign language or picture symbols for communication? Now is the time.early intervention is key. Good luck!
My son was in ST from 3 years old. He only started being verbal around 5 and even then it was slow going. Hes 13 now and has been tested for having grade level vocabulary but part of the speech disorder he has, he only strings together short phrases and words. Its very possible they comprehend far more than they can express.
My younger son, Basil, is 4 and has sensory processing disorder. He started really talking a little after he turned two. He still has a lot of trouble, but is very talkative now. We havent done any therapies as of yet. I just work with him at home.
What Are The Symptoms Of Autism
Autisms early warning signs usually emerge sometime before a child turns three. Symptoms can start as early as 12 or 18 months for some children, while other kids with autism may not be diagnosed until the second or third grade, Pandey says. Symptoms occur over time, and they dont always happen in a doctors office, she says. Thats why parents watching for symptoms and providing that information is important.
Pandey also says parental symptom-spotting is vital because the sooner a health professional can intervene, the better off the child will be. You cannot get autism-specific intervention until you get a diagnosis, she adds.
So what are the symptoms of autism? Here are 12 that parents need to know. Just keep in mind: Diagnosing autism is complicated. We need to see a number of these symptoms to make a diagnosis, not just one, Pandey says.
Also, different symptoms emerge at different ages. What may be a red flag for autism at age 3 could be considered typical behavior at age 1 or 2. While you should tell your childs doctor if you notice any of these symptoms, spotting one of themor even several of themis not a guarantee that your child has autism.
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What Was Hard In The Early Years Was The Level Of Difficulty Each Child Had And How Differently Those Difficulties Presented Themselves
Our son, Marc, had no language until he was almost 5. He relied on stimming to help with anxiety and self soothe engaging in video rewinding and obsessing over ceiling fans. His play centred around arranging toys. It took him hours to fall asleep at night and he woke up frequently throughout the night. Marc followed a strict gluten-free/casein free diet from age 15 months on. He had frequent meltdowns and was hypersensitive. A paper cut could result in a 3 hour crying fit.
Unique Concerns For Parents With Children At Risk For Autism
Metallothionein and chelator use because of mercury in vaccines
Walsh et al from the Pfeiffer institute presented a study to the American Psychiatric Association in May 2001 suggesting that an inborn error in metallothionein proteins in autism may interfere with clearing toxic metals as well as interfere with immune function. In fact, parents need to know that Walsh has not measured metallothionein in autism, but merely makes inferences from treatment responses recorded in his centre, which has a proprietary interest in zinc products marketed for people with autism. Dr Amy Holmes has considerable credibility as a concerned paediatrician. Holmes et al presented data at the International Meeting for Autism Research in November 2001 suggesting that children with autism have a positive response to chelation, usually with DMSA, in combination with dietary lipoic acid supplements . In open-label use of chelation, Holmes reported that younger children show the most benefit when treated for two to three months. Side effects included transient increases in hyperactivity, self-stimulatory behaviour and loose stools. Excretion of heavy metals was suggested as proof of a heavy metal problem in children with autism. Although no one has, as yet, replicated these findings, parents continue to feel that mercury and other heavy metals may pose a threat and seek chelation therapy.
The AAP News in August 2001 presented a good review of the facts that parents need to know about chelators .
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Early Signs Of Autism In Babies Aged 0
Shortly after they are born, babies begin to smile and coo at people around them. By the time they turn 2 months old, they are able to pay attention to faces.
If the child has autism spectrum disorder, this may not be the case. If a child doesnt smile, or smile as big, and is not showing any warm expression, it may be a sign of autism spectrum disorder.
The following signs can also be seen by the time the baby turns 3 months old:
- Doesnt respond to loud noises,
- Doesnt grasp objects,
- Doesnt babble