Are you worried your son or daughter may have autism?
Does your child avoid eye contact or not respond when spoken to?
Has your son or daughter exhibited signs of repetition or obsession?
Autism awareness is at an all-time high, widely discussed by the medical community, media outlets, concerned parents and society in general. While autism may appear to be more widespread today than decades ago, experts believe the increase in diagnoses is due to greater awareness of autism and its signs and symptoms.
Autism is a neurobehavioral disorder with four distinct autism diagnoses, all, enveloping a spectrum of symptoms and impairments that range in severity. Autism is characterized by difficulty in communicating and interacting with others, and obsessive or repetitive behavior. Depending on how a child is communicating and interacting, autism diagnoses can start as young as two years old. It’s also not uncommon for adults to seek diagnosis if they notice symptoms in themselves or their children.
A licensed clinician can help with an evaluation and assist with providing your child with strategies to best manage the symptoms and embrace the strengths that autism can provide. We’d recommend speaking with our office if you’ve noticed any of the following behavioral trends in your child:
- Inability to maintain eye contact, or failure to respond when spoken to or called by name
- Rigid rules or routines
- Isolation or avoiding social interaction
- Repetitive or obsessive behavior, such as lining up objects or only performing tasks in a particular order
- Involuntary or excessive behaviors such as blinking, rocking, hand flapping or finger flicking
A diagnosis of autism can help your child find solutions to symptoms that are interfering with their daily life. Autism can make it difficult for them to interact socially, both with verbal and nonverbal communication. Trouble making eye contact or involuntary noises can also cause problems at home, at school or with peers.
Autism can make it difficult for your child to make or maintain friendships, or to get along with family members. When they mature, it can be harder for them to have intimate relationships. They may also develop repetitive, obsessive or ritualistic behaviors that interfere with their daily life.
Therapy and some medications are available to help manage and control these behaviors. A licensed therapist can help address compulsions or a lack of social skills, as well as teach coping methods for anxiety.
If you’re concerned your child may be exhibiting signs of autism, a pediatrician, licensed child neurologist or psychologist can assess and evaluate your child. Once diagnosed, a therapist can help them better manage their symptoms.
Please contact Jessica today to schedule an appointment.