Frequently asked questions

a child with autism  using an adaptive communication  device
Frequently asked questions by parents who suspect their child may be autistic...your not alone!
June 4, 2021

What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills. There is a broad spectrum of symptoms that can manifest and can present differently in each case.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. Are you born with Autism?

Yes. The consensus is that children with Autism are born with Autism, however it may not present itself until a child is two or three years old when they start to miss neurotypical milestones. Some children aren't diagnosed until much older.

  1. What are the signs my child may have Autism?

Typically there are some signs that would present that would cause a parent o want to get their child evaluated. Struggling with ordinary activities, sensory issues with light, noise, taste, texture and color, Lack of sensitivity, meaning they will engage in dangerous activity without realizing consequences. For example they will touch a hot pan right after they just got burned. Repetitive action, like doing a puzzle 15 times. Compulsive need for certain routines and patterns. Attachment to certain obscure objects like batteries or boxes. Distance, They tend to stay away from others and their peers, avoid eye contact, and may have minimal physical contact. They have difficulty communicating. They may have trouble verbalizing their needs and wants yet have an extensive vocabulary. they may not answer a question that is asked directly to them and they often don't understand the "rules" of engagement like eye contact with the speaker, responding appropriately with appropriate pitch or even doing what is asked of them. A child with Autism may also have an obsession over a certain subject. Its an excessive fascination with, for example, dinosaurs or how a fan moves. The will strive to learn everything they can abut that one subject. Due in part to a tendency to react strongly to stimuli and triggers and situations, children with Autism may also self injure. This mostly manifests in banging the head or biting themselves. Lastly, obvious delays in neurotypical development is a good sign that you may wat to have your child evaluated. Things like babbling a 12 months, speaking at 16 months and speaking sentences by 2 are all neurotypical milestones.

  1. How is Autism diagnosed?

Autism is diagnosed through a series of evaluations. There is no blood or urine test used. patient history and behavior is what is used. To be evaluated you can see an experienced primary, Neuro, psychiatrist, or other trained professional with experience diagnosing Autism.

  1. What's next?

Your child has been diagnosed with Autism. This can be devastating for some families. parents go through an array of emotions and concern and even disbelief, However, event though Autism can not be cured , there are ways to help improve communication and change behaviors. Early intervention is incredibly important for a child who has been diagnosed! I cant stress this enough!! ABA or Applied Behavioral Analysis is extremely effective in improving language, function, and behavior, Find a program and support that will help you and your family with the struggles that come along with autism and an excellent early intervention program.

Each individual is different and therefore has different needs. the key to understanding Autism is to understand the individual who has it. We have to teach how they learn.

Reach out to kathyloewenberg@bhcsct.org anytime for resources and or direction! That's what we do!