What is autism? According to the Autism Society of America, autism is defined as “a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a ‘spectrum disorder’ that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.”
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) appear to be increasing. ASDs have been estimated to affect between 1 in 200 to 1 in 150 children, yet few understand these afflictions. The causes of this condition are still under debate.
Children suffering from this condition do not process the world and its stimulus the same way as typically developing children. Symptoms usually appear before the age of 3 and can include:
- Not responding to their name by 12 months
- Not pointing at objects to show interest (i.e. point at an airplane flying overhead) by 14 months
- Not playing “pretend” games (i.e. pretending to “feed” a doll) by 18 months
- Avoiding eye contact and wanting to be alone
- Having trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
- Having delayed speech and language skills
- Repeating words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
- Giving unrelated answers to questions
- Getting upset by minor changes
- Having obsessive interests
- Flapping their hands, rocking their body, or spinning in circles
- Having unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
Having your child display one or more of these conditions does not mean your child has autism, but if your child does show one or more of these conditions have your child evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. Once a diagnosis has been made, experts agree therapy and treatment should begin immediately.
More information: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html
How We Can Help
The clinicians at Baron Therapy specialize in the treatment of autism through expert speech therapy and occupational therapy. We combine research-based methods with 20 years of clinical experience to successfully provide expert care to children with autism.
If a child has autism, the younger a child starts treatment the better. Early intervention can help remove these problems to the fullest extent.