What Is Autism?

Do you know about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person. Those children diagnosed with ASD are:
 
  • Deficit in social-emotional reciprocity
  • Deficit in nonverbal communicative behaviours
  • Deficit in developing, maintaining and understanding relationships, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts

ASD is usually first diagnosed in childhood with many of the most-obvious signs presenting around 2-3 years old, but some children with autism develop normally until toddlerhood when they stop acquiring or lose previously gained skills.

*Source from : Psychiatry.org

Children with ASD face challenges in the following four main areas :

Social Interaction
Social
Interaction

Children with autism spectrum disorder typically have trouble with back-and-forth communication in conversations.
 

Language Development

Many children with ASD develop some speech and language skills, but not to a normal level of ability, and their progress is usually uneven.

Behavioural Challenges

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit many behaviors their family, teachers, and other supporters find challenging.

Sensory Processing
Sensory Processing

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have difficulty processing and integrating sensory information.
 

Diagnosis and Risk Factors

Early diagnosis and treatment are important to reducing the symptoms of autism and improving the quality of life for people with autism and their families. There is no medical test for autism. It is diagnosed based on observing how the child talks and acts in comparison to other children of the same age. Trained professionals typically diagnose autism by talking with the child and asking questions of parents and other caregivers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified possible red flags for autism spectrum disorder in young children, including:

  1. Not responding to his/her name by 12 months of age
  2. Not pointing at objects to show interest by 14 months
  3. Not playing “pretend” games by 18 months
  4. Avoiding eye contact or preferring to be alone
  5. Getting upset by minor changes
  6. Flapping their hands, rocking their body or spinning in circles
  7. Having unusual and sometimes intense reactions to the way things smell, taste, feel and/or look

If there is a strong concern that your child is showing possible signs of autism, then a diagnostic evaluation should be performed. This typically involves an interview and play-based testing with your child done by a psychologist, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, child psychiatrist or other providers.

Tips For Parents
  • Learn as much as possible about autism spectrum disorder
  • Provide consistent structure and routine
  • Connect with other parents of children with autism
  • Seek professional help for specific concerns
  • Take time for yourself and other family members
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