See a clinician. They will be able to help determine whether you have Autism, and suggest treatment options for you.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER IN CHILDREN
Onset of symptoms is typically within the first year. Some children appear to develop normally and then go through a period of regression around 18 months where they develop symptoms of Autism. Every child is different and has a unique pattern of behavior and severity which can range from low functioning to high functioning.
What are ASD Symptoms in Children?
Social Communication and Interaction
Reduced eye contact
Lack of response to their name
May have either difficulty learning and signs of lower intelligence or have normal to high intelligence but have trouble communicating and applying what they know to their lives
Resists cuddling and holding
Prefers playing alone, retreating into his or her own world
Lacks facial expressions
Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech, may lose previous ability to say words
Cannot start a conversation or keep one going
Speaks with abnormal tone or rhythm (e.g., singsong voice or robot like speech)
Repeats words or phrases but doesn’t understand how to use them
Doesn’t appear to understand simple questions or directions
Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others’ feelings
Doesn’t point at or bring objects to share interest
Inappropriately approaches a social interaction by being passive, aggressive, or disruptive
Difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues
Patterns of behavior
Repetitive movements, like rocking or spinning
Performs activities that could cause self-harm, like biting or head-banging
Develops specific routines and is disturbed at any slight change
Has problems with coordination or odd movement patterns, like clumsiness, walking on toes, stiff or exaggerated body language
Fascinated by details of an object but doesn’t understand the overall purpose or function of the object
Is unusually sensitive to light, sound, or touch
Doesn’t engage in imitative or make-believe play
Fixates on an object or activity with abnormal intensity of focus
Has specific food preferences, such as eating only a few foods, or refusing to eat foods with a certain texture
What are some developmental signs that my child might have Autism?
At 6 months, your child does not smile or respond with a happy expression
At 9 months your child does not mimic sounds and facial expressions
At 12 months you child does not coo and babble
At 14 months, your child does not make gestures like waving or pointing
At 16 months, your child does not say single words
At 18 months, your child does not engage in make-believe play
At 24 months, your child does not say two-word phrases
At any age, your child loses his or her language skills or social skills
A free screening for Autism in Toddlers can be found here
What are the causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
There is no single cause of ASD; both the environment and genetics contribute to its development.
Some genetic disorders are associated with the development of Autism, such as Rett Syndrome and fragile X syndrome. Genetic mutations that occur randomly, or are inherited, may also contribute to the occurrence of Autism.
There is no link between vaccines and autism. Despite the controversy that exists, there is extensive research to show that vaccines are not associated with autism spectrum disorder.
Researchers are currently exploring whether environmental factors such as viral infections, medications and complications during pregnancy, or air pollutants contribute to triggering Autism Spectrum Disorder.
What are the risk factors associated with ASD?
Boys are 4 times more likely to develop ASD than girls.
Family history of ASD increases the risk that a child in your family will have ASD.
Children with medical conditions such as fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome increase the risk of ASD
Babies born prematurely may have a greater risk of ASD
Having older parents may be associated with the child having ASD, but more research is needed to determine the association
What are the complications of ASD?
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder may struggle with problems in school or work, inability to live by themselves, social isolation, stress within their family, and being bullied or victimized.
How can I prevent ASD?
There is no way to prevent autism spectrum disorder, but there are many treatment options. The best way to help your child is to get intervention as early as you can. This will help improve behavior, skills, and language development. Children do not outgrow autism, but can learn to function well.
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