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Autism Spectrum-What are the Early Signs of Autism?
National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Delay CDC
Once your child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum then you know how this can change your life. As a family, there are many challenges that you experience mental, and emotionally.
My three year old twin sons showed early signs of Autism at age two, the signs are different for each child. I have listed below several signs to look for ; if you have noticed there is something different about your childs behavior at home or in school.
Early signs of Autism:
- Did not meet age appropriate milestones
- Lack of interest in toys
- They did not point to objects of interest
- Cries or laughs for know reason
- Would not respond to others
- Happy and content playing alone
- Not responding to others
Once I noticed a difference in the behavior of my children, I contacted their pediatrician. We talked about the different options for my twins, which included different types of therapy and assessments. At this point I was very emotional and trying to come to grips with their diagnosis. My biggest worry is what would happen to them when I'm know longer here. I knew I had to pull myself together and make sure they have a bright future ahead.
I found myself alone, with know one to talk to about my sons' diagnosis. I started to research online and found many helpful websites about other parents who are going through the same situation. After, I began to talk with other parents about ASD I started to realize I was not alone. We discussed ideas and programs that would help our children succeed! There are several ways parents can connect with each other.
- Start a support group
- Contact your local church for help
- Have a playdate for the children
- Setup a 'Moms day off'
- Birthday Party Club
- Summer time fun day
- Music Therapy
- Christmas Party
- The most important thing to remember about any group you start is to always listen with a caring ear. Many families just need someone to talk to and listen to how they feel. Even if you don't have a child with ASD you can still reach out and get involved! Volunteers are always needed at schools, therapy sessions, and activities in your area.
- Volunteer to help children in a summer camp
- Help a parent in your community
- Host a ice cream day for ASD children
- Visit children in the hospital
- Plan a day at the zoo
- Spend time with a family in need
It's imperative that a child with Autism begin to receive therapy once diagnosed. There are several types of therapy, which include speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Speech Therapy is expressive language, pitch, and the mechanics of speaking words. Therapy 2-3 days a week can help your child with expressive language. Occupational Therapy can improve sensory skills, motor skills which is the physical ability to balance and walk. Physical Therapy is treatment for your body, joints, and bones. Using exercise and therapy techniques to learn how to walk due to an illness, or surgery etc.
Behavioral Therapy- Treatments to help a chid or adult identify and change self-harming behavior. This can be achieved by using process of theraputic treatments, listed below are several was to start the process:
Talking to the child about their feelings (Using handpuppets for a nonverbal child.) Many children with ASD use different ways to communicate. It is imporant to have different options for therapy.
- Role play-positive reinforcement, this helps a child become confident in themselves. Role play can also encourage a child to communicate with others. As parents and caregivers we can use positive reinforcement everday!
Using breathing techniques when angry can help a child calm down. This can be a great technique for parents. Try to use this technique as much as possible. This will help your child become receptive to the process.
Autism Society of America - ASA chapters: Provide families empowering resources. This can impact and change a persons life that has ASD. Families with a child that has ASD can benefit from a wide variety of resources.
ASA chapters are your very best source of informatio for support. Most chapters are volunteer-led by parents of children or adults on the autism spectrum. ASA has chapters in nearly every state reaching out with information, support and encouragement.
Chapters are the local arm of ASA; they are the foundation for ASA's success as a grassroots organization. Chapters work towards creating a world where people with ASD are fully included, participating members of their communities.
You can start a Chapter for ASD in your community. Contact your school or church and ask for volunteers. Let your family and friends know that you are starting a Chapter in the area. Organize a bake sale or car wash for donations.
National Autism Association (NAA) Information on Autism Facts & Stats:
- Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3.
- Autism now affects 1 in 68 children
- Boys are four times more likely to have Autism than girls
- About 40 percent of children with Autism do not speak. About 25 - 30 percent of children with Autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age.
- Autism greatly varies from person to person.
- The rate of Autism has steadily grown over the last 20 years. However, is the most underfunded developmental disorder.
- Comorbid conditions often associated with Autism include Fragile X, allergies, asthma, epilepsy, bowel diease, digestive disorder, viral infections, feeding disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, sleeping disorders, immune disorders, auto immune disorders, and neuroinflammation.
A 2008, Danish Study found that the mortality risk among those with Autism was nearly twice that of the general population. Children with Autism do progress-early intervention is the key. Autism is treatable not a hopeless condition.
People with ASD should be treated with dignity and respect. Know two individuals with ASD have the same disabilities. It's important to research each therapy approach and discuss it with your doctor. Many children with Autism grow up to lead productive lives. The key is to start therapy, as early as possible, for your child.
The ADDM Network- Providing research that directs the focus on what we know now and what else we need to learn. Inorder, to characterize and address the needs of children with ASD and their families. Information on Autism Spectrum and what interventions can help improve healthcare and education.
We can accomplish much more as a society that cares about the wellbeing of a person that has ASD. To help advocate for a child or adult with Autism we can contact our local ASD resource center in our area.
I hate words 'handicapped' and 'disabled'. They imply that you are less than whole. I don't see myself that way at all.— Aimee Mullins
Do you think enough research is underway for Autism Spectrum Disorder?
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