Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life. It affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns. It includes what used to be known as Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorders. It is called a "spectrum" disorder because people with ASD can have a range of symptoms. People with ASD might have problems talking with you, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may also have restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. They may spend a lot of time putting things in order, or they may say the same sentence again and again. They may often seem to be in their "own world."
Warning signs/Autism indicators
1. The following “red flags”
could mean your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Possible warning signs:
2. Many families struggle
with the next steps if they suspect or have been told their child may have autism. Diagnosis of the disorder can be a slow, uncertain, and exhausting process.
3. Knowing where to turn
for testing and diagnosis is an important first step, and BEI can help you find appropriate services.
4. Recent studies confirm
great benefits from behavioral therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), especially when started between the ages of 2 to 5. Source: AutismSpeaks.com
5. An estimated 1 in 88 children
is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
1. Behavior Programs
These programs address social skills, attention, sleep, play, anxiety, parent interaction, and challenging behaviors. Some programs also help with children’s overall development. Many of these programs use specially trained providers who work with parents and children for up to 25 hours every week. The programs can last from 12 weeks to as long as 3 years. They are held in homes, schools, and clinics.
2. Education and Learning Programs
These programs are offered in schools or other learning centers. They focus on learning and reasoning skills and “whole life” approaches. Schools may have different names for their programs, but many of these programs are based on the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) approach. Programs like TEACCH use visual tools and arrange the classroom in ways that are easier to manage for a child with ASD. Other programs are classroom- or center-based and use “applied behavior analysis” (commonly known as ABA) strategies like positive reinforcement.
4. Other Treatments and Therapies
You may have heard or read of other types of treatments or therapies that have been used for children with ASD, such as: