It’s no fun being left out.
Autism includes a group of special disorders of the brain that can make it harder to socialize with others, communicate and stop repeating certain behaviors.
Although there is talk about autism now more than ever, it has been around for a long time and we hope to learn more.
What causes autism disorders?
It’s not clear yet but scientists believe that both family history and the environment play an important part. We don’t yet have any evidence or scientific proof of any specific causes.
What are the signs to look out for in my child?
Every case is different and autism isn’t always very easy to spot.
Early signs in babies and toddlers
- no babbling (trying to talk) or pointing by age 1
- no single words by age 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
- not responding to his/her name
- loss of language and social skills he/she once had
- poor eye contact (not really looking people in the eye when communicating)
- spending a lot of time lining up his/her toys or other objects
- no smiling or participating in helping out as part of a group, team or community
Signs that show up later in life
- hard time making friends with people in their age or social group
- hard time starting or keeping a conversation going with others
- not being able to or having a hard time role pretend play and playing with others
- repeating words or phrases or using language in an unusual way
- showing strong feeling or opinions in an unusual way or focused interest
- preoccupied or obsessed with certain objects or subjects
- following specific routines and rituals to the point of not wanting to change in any way
- Therapy and training to improve the learning experience at school
- Therapy and training to improve behavior
- Medications to help improve any issues like problems with attention, worrying, depression, hyperactivity and seizures
Is there a cure?
At this time, there is no cure but with treatment, day to day living can become a lot easier with help.
Guides: Early Signs of Autism (video), Autism Information, Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Follow your child’s development and milestones, Sesame Street and Autism: Resources for Parents, Amazing Me – It’s Busy Being 3, If You’re Concerned (about your child), Tool kits and tips for families dealing with children with autism and Resource Guide (by state)
Keep in mind that it is very important to follow your child’s development and speak with your doctor right away if you notice any signs. The earlier your child gets help, the easier his/her life can be.
Talk to your doctor or health care provider for more information.
If you don’t have a doctor, find a health center near you.
Call (800) – 273 – 8255 for 24/7 caring help dealing with difficult emotions, hopelessness and giving up.
Call (888) – 288 – 4762 if you or a loved one has autism and would like help finding more resources and services near you.
– Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke web site. 1.usa.gov/1fid3oj. Accessed April 03, 2016.