Are you worried your son or daughter may have autism?
Does your child avoid eye contact or not respond when spoken to?
Has your son or daughter exhibited signs of repetition or obsession?
Autism awareness is at an all-time high, widely discussed by the medical community, media outlets, concerned parents, and society in general. While autism may appear to be more widespread today than decades ago, experts believe the increase in diagnoses is due to greater awareness of autism and its signs and symptoms.
Autism is a neurobehavioral disorder with four distinct autism diagnoses, all, enveloping a spectrum of symptoms and impairments that range in severity. Autism is characterized by difficulty in communicating and interacting with others, and obsessive or repetitive behavior. Depending on how a child is communicating and interacting, autism diagnoses can start as young as two years old. It's also not uncommon for adults to seek diagnosis if they notice symptoms in themselves or their children.
A licensed clinician can help with an evaluation and assist with providing your child with strategies to best manage the symptoms and embrace the strengths that autism can provide.
We recommend speaking with our office if you’ve noticed any of the following behavioral trends in your child:
- Children with autism may engage in repetitive behaviors or routines. They may become upset or have difficulty adapting to changes in their routine. Repetitive or obsessive behavior, such as lining up objects or only performing tasks in a particular order
- Inability to maintain eye contact, or failure to respond when spoken to or called by name
- Children with autism may have difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication. They may not develop language as quickly as other children, and they may struggle to understand and use gestures, facial expressions, and body language.
- Children with autism may have sensory sensitivities or aversions. They may be sensitive to loud noises, bright lights, certain textures, or specific smells.
- Children with autism may have involuntary or excessive behaviors such as blinking, rocking, hand flapping, or finger flicking
- Children with autism may have difficulty engaging in social interactions. They may have difficulty making eye contact, responding to their name being called, or initiating and maintaining conversations with others. Isolation or avoiding social interaction
- Children with autism may have restricted or intense interests, such as an obsession with a particular toy or object. They may also engage in repetitive behaviors, such as spinning objects or flapping their hands
A diagnosis of autism can help your child find solutions to symptoms that are interfering with their daily life. Autism can make it difficult for them to interact socially, both with verbal and nonverbal communication. Trouble making eye contact or involuntary noises can also cause problems at home, at school, or with peers.
Autism can make it difficult for your child to make or maintain friendships, or to get along with family members. When they mature, it can be harder for them to have intimate relationships. They may also develop repetitive, obsessive, or ritualistic behaviors that interfere with their daily life.
Therapy and some medications are available to help manage and control these behaviors. A licensed therapist can help address compulsions or a lack of social skills, as well as teach coping methods for anxiety.
If you're concerned your child may be exhibiting signs of autism, a pediatrician, licensed child neurologist, or psychologist can assess and evaluate your child. Once diagnosed, a therapist can help them better manage their symptoms. Early intervention can make a significant difference in the outcomes for children with autism.
Please contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child.