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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition involving persistent problems with social communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. While autism is considered a lifelong disorder, the degree of impairment in functioning due to these problems varies among individuals with autism.

Parents/caregivers or pediatricians may notice this disorder's first signs before the child reaches one year of age.

However, symptoms usually become more consistently visible by the time a child is 2 or 3 years old. In some cases, the functional impairment associated with autism may be mild and not apparent until the child enters school, after which the deficits may be expressed among peers.

Social communication deficits may include :

  1. Reduced sharing of interests with others

  2. Difficulty valuing one's own emotions and the emotions of others

  3. Reluctance to maintain eye contact

  4. Insufficient knowledge of the use of non-verbal gestures

  5. Edited or written speech

  6. Literal interpretation of abstract ideas

  7. Difficulty making or keeping friends

Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors may include:

  1. Behavioral inflexibility, extreme difficulty coping with change

  2. Excessive concentration on specialized topics to the exclusion of others

  3. Expecting others to have the same interest in these topics

  4. Difficulty tolerating changes in routine and new experiences

  5. Sensory hypersensitivity, e.g. aversion to loud noises

  6. Stereotyped movements such as waving, rocking, spinning

  7. Arranging things, often toys, in a very strange way

Parent/caregiver/teacher concerns about a child's behavior should prompt a specialized evaluation by a developmental pediatrician, child psychologist, child neurologist, and/or child and adolescent psychiatrist. This assessment involves interviewing the parent/caregiver, observing, and interacting with the child in a structured way, and sometimes performing additional tests to rule out other disorders. In some ambiguous cases, the diagnosis of autism may be delayed, but otherwise, an early diagnosis can greatly improve the child's functioning by giving the family early access to supportive resources in the community.

The first step is to find a rating.

Most parents start with their pediatrician, who checks for developmental milestones. If your child is under 3 years old, you can get an assessment through your local early intervention system. (Learn more about early intervention and find local contact information.) If your child is over 3 years old, you can get an evaluation through your local school (even if your child doesn't go there). Contact your local school's preschool. special education team to request an assessment. (Learn more about requesting an assessment.)

Tips for Parents

  • Learn as much as you can about autism spectrum disorder

  • Provide consistent structure and routine

  • Connect with other parents of children with autism

  • In case of specific problems, seek professional help

  • Make time for yourself and other family members

Having a child with autism affects the whole family. It can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. It is important to pay attention to the physical and emotional health of the whole family. Geniuslane Child Development Centre provides information, resources, and support to individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families.

For any query related to autism, you can call on +91-7669988833 / +91-0522-4082221

Or visit our website

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