Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized as a difference in development which can impact communication, social interaction, self-regulation, and relationships. ASD is complex, lifelong, and presents to varying degrees. Due to the nature of ASD it is critical to diagnose children early for the best chance of success.
How Do I Know if My Child has Autism?
While only a trained professional can give a proper diagnosis if your child has autism, there are a few signs that you and your pediatrician should watch for that might warrant further investigation.
Possible Indicators of Autism:
When observing your child, ask yourself: Does your child look at you when s/he wants to show you something? Does s/he look when you point to something? Does your child use imagination and pretend play? A lack of these three behaviors may also warrant further investigation and an evaluation by a qualified autism provider.
If your child shows some of the warning signs or you believe your child has autism, talk with your pediatrician or contact Autism Community Network at:
Treatments for Autism
While there is no known cure for autism, there are treatment and education approaches that may reduce some of the challenges associated with the condition. Treatments for autism or interventions—especially early in a child’s life—may help lessen disruptive behaviors and education can teach self-help skills that allow for greater independence.
But, just as there is no one symptom or behavior that identifies all individuals with ASD, there is no single treatment that will be effective for everyone on the spectrum. Depending on your child’s needs, he or she may benefit from speech therapy, occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, or behavioral consultation.
Most professionals agree that early intervention is important and that most individuals with autism respond well to uniquely tailored, evidence based, specialized programs. Parental involvement has also emerged as a major factor in treatment success.