- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 09 2017
What are the Major Symptoms of Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder
It is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and last’s throughout a person’s life. It is called a “spectrum” disorder because people with ASD can have a range of symptoms. It affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns.
Some children show signs of ASD in early infancy, such as reduced eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they have already acquired. Signs usually are seen by age 2 years. Each child with ASD is likely to have a unique pattern of behaviour and level of severity, from low functioning to high functioning.
Below are some common signs shown by people who ASD:
• Fails to respond to his or her name or appears not to hear you at times
• Resists cuddling and holding, and seems to prefer playing alone, retreating into his or her own world
• Has poor eye contact and lacks facial expression
• Doesn't speak or has delayed speech, or loses previous ability to say words or sentences
• Can't start a conversation or keep one going, or only starts one to make requests or label items
• Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm and may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
• Repeats words or phrases verbatim, 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
Your child's doctor will look for signs of developmental delays at regular check-ups.
Observe child and ask about child's social interactions, communication skills and behavior have developed and changed over time.
Give your child tests covering hearing, speech, language, developmental level, and social and behavioral issues.
Present structured social and communication interactions to your child and score the performance.
Recommend genetic testing to identify whether your child has a genetic disorder such as Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome
There is no cure for ADS. The goal of treatment is to maximize your child's ability to function by reducing ADS symptoms and supporting development and learning
The range of home-based and school-based treatments and interventions for ADS can be overwhelming, and your child's needs may change over time
Treatment options may include:
• Behaviour and communication therapies. Many programs address the range of social, language and behavioural difficulties associated with ADS. Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) can help children learn new skills and generalize these skills to multiple situations through a reward-based motivation system.
• Educational therapies. Children with ADS often respond well to highly structure educational programs. Successful programs typically include a team of specialists and a variety of activities to improve social skills, communication and behaviour.
• Family therapies. Parents and other family members can learn how to play and interact with their children in ways that promote social interaction skills, manage problem behaviours, and teach daily living skills and communication.
• Other therapies. Depending on your child's needs, speech therapy to improve communication skills, occupational therapy to teach activities of daily living, and physical therapy to improve movement and balance may be beneficial
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