Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Autism includes Autistic Disorder (AD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s Disorder also known as Asperger’s Syndrome (AS).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, Autism affects 1 out of 91 children.
Autism is a complex neurobiological spectrum disorder affecting individuals differently and to varying degrees. Individuals do not grow out of Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and social groups and is four times more likely to affect boys than girls. Autism impairs a person’s ability to communicate (understand and relate to others) socially and emotionally.
Autism is also associated with unproductive repetitive behaviors; processing disorders (sensory sensitivities to light, smell, sound and touch), eccentric behaviors and rigid routines; and unusual preoccupation with subjects and objects.
Early Signs of Autism
One or more of the following can be indicators of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes Autistic Disorder, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s Disorder, also known as Asperger’s Syndrome:
Absence of smiles of recognition by six months or thereafter Acts as though they cannot hear your voice
Absence of acknowledgment when a parent returns home or when a new person enters the room by six months or thereafter
Preoccupation or fascination with objects rather than with people
Impaired social interaction such as back-and-forth sharing of facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
Slow to imitate games like peek-a-boo
Giggling for no reason or when no one else is around as early as four months or thereafter
Extreme sensitivities to light, smell, sound, touch and taste by four months or thereafter
Hand flapping, hand gazing, body rocking or other self-stimulatory behaviors as early as six months
Absence of babbling by 12 months Absence of back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, or waving by 12 months
Fixation on audio/ video stimulation by 18 months
Absence of words by 16 months or odd use of language or unusual tone of voice
Compulsively arranges non-toy items or lines up toys
Absence of initiating two word meaningful phrases by 24 months.
Speaks only when coaxed
Any loss of first words or any loss of babbling at any age
Any loss of social skills at any age
Peculiar or rigid eating, dressing or sleeping habits
Strongly prefers or insists on talking about one subject without variation
Lack of daily progress (A developing child is doing or discovering new things every day.)
Every day without treatment is a lost opportunity for progress.
Evidence Based Autism Intervention
1. Autism Distance Education Parent Training (ADEPT)Strategies for Teaching Functional Skills