What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Be Involved. Act Now. Champion Autism. (BIANCA) is a San Diego-based nonprofit that provides resources for parents who want to understand what autism is and how to treat it. Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder, is an extremely complex developmental disability. It’s typically characterized by a specific set of behaviors that appear during early childhood, between the ages of two and three. Autism spectrum disorder can create challenges with socialization, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. However, it also can pose some unique strengths and differences. Because autism is a spectrum condition, it affects individuals uniquely and to different degrees.
What are the Signs of the Disorder?
Because the signs of autism show themselves early on, it’s important to be on the lookout. When you are aware of the typical indications of autistic spectrum disorder, you can detect them when they first start to appear. These are a few of the childhood symptoms you may see:
- Avoids eye contact
- Prefers to be alone
- Grapples with understanding other’s emotions
- Is nonverbal or has delayed language development
- Repeats words or phrases
- Displays repetitive behavior like flapping, rocking or spinning
- Has selected, almost obsessive interests
- Little to no interest in creating peer relationships
While autism spectrum disorder is not something children can simply outgrow, studies have shown that an early diagnosis can lead to a significantly improved outcome. From our offices in San Diego, BIANCA is dedicated to educating parents about what the autism spectrum is and what they can do to alleviate symptoms.
How is Autism Treated?
Because every case of autism spectrum disorder is different, every treatment plan needs to be personalized to confront the specific needs of the child. Depending on the child, some treatments include behavioral treatments, medication or both. Many treatments involve a therapist coming to a patient’s home to perform treatment in a comfortable place. It’s also common for people with autism to experience sleep disturbance, seizures or gastrointestinal issues, so these medical issues will also be addressed. A properly conducted regimen can greatly assist with attention, learning and other behaviors that result from the autism spectrum.
Children on the autistic spectrum aren’t the only ones who might receive instruction. Family members might have to sit down with parents to receive instruction on helping their child. Therapists might also prefer to meet with the entire family to advise them as to what the autism spectrum disorder is.
Contact BIANCA Today
Do you suspect that your child is displaying signs of the autism spectrum but lack the resources to give them proper care? Our Access to Care Program (ATC) provides financial help to families who can’t otherwise pay for the programs their children need. Call our San Diego office at (888) 815-2676 for more information. You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here right along with you.