A Parent’s Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect children in many different ways. Children might only exhibit mild indicators of these neurodevelopmental disorders, or they might be severely affected. If you suspect that your child is having trouble meeting developmental milestones, have him or her evaluated by an autism expert. Keep reading for an overview of the main types of autism and its symptoms.

mother and daughter on couch

Types of ASD
Children with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) typically have milder symptoms than children with other types of autism. The development of speech, language, and their intellectual abilities are typically not affected. However, youngsters with Asperger’s often exhibit social deficits. Classic autism can affect many areas of development, including speech and language, social skills, cognitive function, and behavior. Children with some of the characteristics of autism may be diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Other types of autism include Rett syndrome, which is rare and usually affects females, and childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), which is characterized by significant impairments.

Indicators of ASD
The  signs of autism vary greatly . Communication issues might range from being entirely nonverbal to having difficulty with pragmatic language skills (i.e. failure to make eye contact and interpret facial expressions). Children with autism might have trouble coping to changes in routine, experience sensory overload, or appear to be “in their own world.” You might also notice your child engaging in self-stimulatory behavior, which refers to repetitive movements such as hand-flapping.

Assessments for ASD
Although there are no medical tests to diagnose autism, your child’s pediatrician might perform some tests to rule out other underlying causes of the symptoms. An autism expert can perform screening tests to evaluate your child’s development across a range of areas to determine his or her unique needs.

At The Behavior Exchange, our autism experts perform comprehensive assessments, including observations of your child’s interactions in school and home if needed. The results of the assessments are used to customize a therapy plan that is right for your child.  Learn more  about the therapy programs available at our Dallas location by calling (972) 312-8733.

Written by Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA





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