Every child is different but if there are two words families should remember as they embark on their journey, they are “social” and “communication.” Children with Autism often have difficulty communicating their wants and needs. This can lead to frustration for families and problem behaviors tend to arise. Behaviors may include frequent tantrums, repetitive “self-stimulatory” behavior such as rocking or hand flapping, and aggression, to name just a few. Because Autism falls along a spectrum, children present with varying degrees of difficulty and manifestations of the disorder can differ considerably across individuals.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Autism are broad diagnostic terms that describe a complex neurological disorder characterized by deficits in social and communicative development, as well as the presence of repetitive behaviors. Autism affects approximately 1 in 68 children nationwide (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) and while it is thought to begin early in life, children are most often diagnosed around the age of 2 or 3, when symptoms are more noticeable.
While there is no known “cure” for Autism, research-based therapies have been proven to show significant gains in individuals with ASD and research also provides evidence that early intervention can yield the most effective results.
Symptoms And Characteristics Of Autism
- Poor eye contact
- Inconsistently responds to own name
- Lack of joint attention (shared events)
- Prolonged temper tantrums
- Unusual attachment to inanimate objects
- Prefers playing alone
- Demonstrates odd or stereotypic behavior
- Does not play with toys in a typical way
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