What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses a whole range of developmental challenges, including impaired social skills, intellectual disabilities, repetitive and compulsive behaviors, and difficulty with both verbal and nonverbal communication. Since ASD looks a little different for everyone, children and teens with autism may show a wide variety of symptoms.
Differences on the Spectrum
Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses a whole range of developmental challenges, including impaired social skills, intellectual disabilities, repetitive and compulsive behaviors, and difficulty with both verbal and nonverbal communication.
Since ASD looks a little different for everyone, children and teens with autism may show a wide variety of symptoms.
Risks for ASD
- Family History: Children with a sibling or parent who has autism spectrum disorder are much more likely to develop the condition themselves, although severity does vary among families.
- Gender: Boys are nearly four times more likely than girls to develop some manifestation of autism spectrum disorder.
- Medical History: Some medical conditions are associated with higher than normal risks of autism, including fragile X syndrome, tuberculosis sclerosis, and Rett syndrome.
- Preterm Delivery: Babies who were born before 26 weeks of gestation have a much higher risk of developing autism spectrum disorder.
Symptoms of ASD
These are the most common symptoms associated with ASD:
- Constant fidgeting
- Unusual clumsiness
- Self-harm, such as biting or pinching
- Failure to respond to stimuli
- Abnormal speech patterns
- Delayed language
- Repetitive behaviors, such as rocking or spinning
- Unusual sensitivity to light or touch
- Fixation on specific objects or topics of conversation
- Inability to engage in make-believe
- Extreme preference for certain foods, clothing, and textures
- Aggression, hostility, or defiance
- Reluctance to verbalize
- Reluctance to express emotions
- Difficulty interpreting nonverbal cues
- Abnormal body language
- Learning difficulties
These are some typical forms of treatment for ASD:
- Behavioral Therapies: Although there is no way to prevent autism spectrum disorder, there are plenty of cutting-edge treatments available. Children and teens with autism often benefit most from intensive behavioral therapy. Applied Behavioral Analysis, which teaches communication and socialization skills, and Pivotal Response Treatment, which focuses on developing important verbal and interpersonal behaviors, are a great place to start.
- Family Therapy: A crucial element of helping children and teens with autism spectrum disorder is educating their parents about how to relate to them and engage their bodies and minds.
- Peer Intervention: Young people on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum may benefit from therapies that pair them with partners of a similar developmental level and encourage them to explore new social environments together.
Do some research about the symptoms and behaviors that characterize autism spectrum disorder. If you suspect your child may have ASD, have them take a professional assessment.
Speak to a doctor about getting a diagnosis, educating family members, and receiving treatment. A professional can guide you towards the best choices for your family.
Evaluate potential treatment plans to find the one that’s right for your family. There are a lot out there, but finding the right one for you isn’t only worth it, but also necessary for your child to thrive.
can be reduced by 2/3 with proper early diagnosis and intervention.
identified with ASD have an average to above average intellectual ability.
non-ASD developmental diagnoses is 83%–this is extremely common for those with ASD.
in United States children increased by 119.4 percent in just 10 years