As understanding of autism spectrum disorders continue to grow, one factor that has become almost unanimously accepted is that early diagnosis can have a dramatic impact on the success of autism treatments . Because the brain is more malleable the younger a person is, early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes for children across the autism spectrum. Being aware of autism symptoms, being aggressive about getting a diagnosis, and seeking autism treatment can be one of the most important things you do for your child. Here are some of the benefits of getting a diagnosis early in your child’s life.
Improved Social and Cognitive Development
Early diagnosis allows for autism-appropriate education to begin at a young age. Children are taught things like making eye contact and interacting with others, when their brains are most likely to absorb the information. Having this kind of education ongoing throughout the important developmental milestones that occur in the first few years of life can help children with autism integrate into society in the future. This is true for individuals across the autism spectrum.
Better Parental Support
Parents can also benefit from early diagnosis in many ways. First, an early diagnosis means getting early access to the support needed to raise a child with autism, which can help to alleviate some of the intense physical and emotional pressure parents feel. Early detection also helps parents learn the best ways to support their child from a young age. Without support, parents may be unequipped to remediate symptoms of autism.
Star of CA offers extensive behavioral and psychological support for children with autism and their families. If your child has been diagnosed with autism, call us at (805) 644-7827 to learn more about age-appropriate autism therapy near Ventura.
An autism diagnosis isn’t just something that happens to one child. The entire family is faced with adjusting to a new normal, which can be particularly challenging for siblings whose brother or sister is on the autism spectrum. Fortunately, there are many things parents can do to help their other children understand autism and what it means to the family as well as to encourage healthy sibling relationships. If one of your children is on the autism spectrum, this advice will help you explain the diagnosis to siblings.
Use Age-Appropriate Explanations
The language and approach you use to explain autism to your children depends very much on their ages. Very young children can benefit from reassurances that autism isn’t contagious and that you will be there to help. The older your children get, the more important it will become to share concrete facts about the autism spectrum and to describe the kinds of symptoms and behaviors they can expect to see. Be honest and direct, and welcome questions.
Have an Ongoing Conversation
Keep the lines of communication between yourself and your children open, and continue to increase their understanding of the diagnosis. Be forthright about problems that your children may face when a sibling has autism, such as dealing with questions from friends at school or seeing their sibling display maladaptive behaviors. Give your children some basic tools for coping with issues. For instance, tell them that only you will handle aggressive behavior, and that if they see it happening, they should get you rather than trying to deal with it themselves.
Be Open to Your Children’s Concerns
It’s natural for siblings to have concerns about their brother or sister with autism. Some of these concerns may be uncomfortable, and they may hesitate to bring them to you. Your children may worry about being embarrassed by their brother or sister, be jealous of the time you dedicate to him or her, or be concerned about their responsibilities for providing long-term care. Ensure your children that you’re open to all of their worries and that there is no question they should be afraid to ask.
Star of CA offers extensive resources for families as they adapt to managing a child’s autistic disorder in Ventura . When your family needs help, contact us. We provide ABA therapy, mental screenings, and much more. Please call (805) 644-7827 for more information.
The signs of autism are a little different for every child. In general, however, parents can be on the lookout for indications that their children have not yet reached developmental targets that are typical for their age range. If you have concerns about your child, consider writing down your observations and sharing them with your child’s pediatrician or an autism therapist.
Signs of Autism in Infants
The failure to meet developmental milestones can be a red flag for autism. In fact, at such an early age, it can sometimes be easier for parents to determine when something might be wrong by considering what their children don’t do, rather than what they do. By six months, most infants smile at their parents or otherwise display joy and affection. By nine months, most infants will engage in other facial expressions and will share back-and-forth sounds. If your little one hasn’t yet met these milestones, it might be time to consider scheduling a consult. Other red flags include the failure to babble or engage in back-and-forth movements like waving, reaching, and grabbing by 12 months. By about seven months, most children who are developing typically will enjoy social play, respond to their own names, and transfer objects from hand to hand.
Signs of Autism in Toddlers
From age one to two, toddlers who might have autism may fail to point at things, try to gain others’ attention, smile in response to a parent’s smile, make eye contact, and enjoy cuddling. They might not have said their first word yet and they may not display interest in other children. During this age range, toddlers with autism might babble or talk with an unusual tone of voice, seem overly fussy, display unusual movements, and play with toys in an atypical fashion. By the age of three, toddlers with autism might resist make-believe play and fail to play with other children. If they were speaking before, they might experience a regression of speech.
If you suspect your child might be displaying the possible signs of autism, you can schedule an autism test in Ventura by calling (805) 644-7827. Star of CA provides evidence-based autism therapy. Our behavioral therapy providers look forward to meeting your family and explaining how we can help.
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