What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. Since this is a spectrum diagnosis, the severity of the symptoms are different in each person. ASD is usually first diagnosed in childhood with many of the more prevalent signs presenting around the age of 2-3, but some children with autism develop normally until toddlerhood when they stop acquiring, or lose previously gained, skills. Autism is a lifelong condition, however many individuals with ASD live independent and meaningful lives.
What Does Autism Look Like?
There are a variety of symptoms that are presented when an individual has autism. Since this is a spectrum disorder, that means that no two children appear or behave the same way. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and often change over time. Some early childhood red flags to keep an eye out for are:
- Not responding to his/her name by 12 months of age
- Not pointing at objects to show interest by 14 months
- Not playing “pretend” games by 18 months
- Avoiding eye contact or preferring to be alone
- Getting upset by minor changes in their environment
- Flapping their hands, rocking their body or spinning in circles
- Having unusual and sometimes intense reactions to the way things smell, taste, feel, and/or look
If you have concerns that your child has autism, contact your primary care physician.
If you are looking for Applied Behavior Therapy, contact Epicenter ABA Therapy to set up an intake call today.
Social Interaction and Communication
- Difficulties in back-and-forth conversation
- Reduced sharing of interests or emotions
- Challenges in understanding and/or responding to social cues like eye contact and facial expressions
- Deficits in developing/maintaining/understanding relationships
Repetitive Patterns of Behaviors
- Playing with toys in an uncommon (lining objects up or flipping objects over)
- Speaking in a unique way (saying odd things or repeating lines from their favorite TV show)
- Having trouble with changes in their routine
- Exhibiting intense interests in activities that are uncommon for a similarly aged child
If you have concerns that your child has autism, contact your primary care physician. If you are looking for Applied Behavior Therapy, contact Epicenter ABA Therapy to set up an intake call today.