Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that causes issues with communication, social, verbal, and motor skills. The most important thing to know about autism is that it is a spectrum disorder, meaning its affects vary from person to person. No two people with autism have the same symptoms. Symptoms generally appear in the early stage of childhood before the age of three. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Oftentimes, Autism (ASD) can be accompanied with other difficulties such as intellectual disabilities, motor and coordination issues, and physical health problems, such as sleep disorders or gastrointestinal issues, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Autism impacts for areas of development: Communication skills, Cognitive functioning, Social interaction and Behavior.
A child may show early symptoms of ASD if they:
- develop language skills late
- don’t point at objects or people or wave goodbye
- don’t track people with their eyes
- show a lack of responsiveness
- don’t imitate facial expressions
- don’t reach out to be picked up
- run into or close to walls
- want to be alone
- don’t play make-believe games (e.g., feeding a doll)
- have obsessive interests
- cause injury to themselves
- have temper tantrums
- display unusual reactions to the way things smell or taste
Remember early intervention is key to helping the individual manage Autism. Consult with a doctor and your assigned Regional Center for help.