"It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village." - COACH ELAINE HALL
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), affects a child's in different ways ranging from social interaction, communication, behavior, and interests , to name a few. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, the signs vary among children, but some common symptoms include:
1. Difficulty with social interactions: Children with ASD may have difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as making eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures. They may also have difficulty developing friendships or understanding social cues.
2. Communication difficulties: Children with ASD may have delayed speech, and some may never develop verbal language. They may also struggle with understanding and using non-literal language, such as sarcasm or metaphors.
3. Repetitive behaviors: Children with ASD may engage in repetitive behaviors such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, playing with the same object over and over, repeating the same song over and over or repeating sounds or phrases.
4. Highly focused interests: Children with ASD may develop intense interests in a specific topic or activity or item and may have difficulty shifting their focus to other things. Fixation to objects are also a possibility.
5. Disruptive behavior: Children with ASD may also display disruptive behavior such as being aggressive, non-compliant, irritability, have angry outbursts and temper tantrums.
6. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Children with ASD sometimes struggle with ADHD as well. This is where they find it difficult to sit still, they have a short attention span, are constantly in motion or constantly fidgeting to name a few.
If you suspect that your child may have autism, it is important to seek an evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician or a developmental pediatrician. They can perform a comprehensive evaluation that includes a medical history, developmental screenings, and behavioral observations to determine if your child meets the criteria for an autism diagnosis. Early diagnosis and intervention can help improve outcomes for children with ASD.
For more tips on how to deal with children on the autism spectrum check out our YouTube channel “Autistic Edge”