What is Autism?
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?
Because the signs of autism show themselves early on, it’s important to be on the lookout. Here are a few of the early warning signs:
- 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 is not something children can simply outgrow, studies have shown that an early diagnosis can lead to a significantly improved outcome.
How is it Treated?
Because every case of autism is different, every autism 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. This could greatly assist with attention, learning and other behaviors.
Children on the autism 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.
Contact BIANCA Today
Do you suspect that your child has autism, but lack the resources to give them proper care? Contact BIANCA today. Our Access to Care Program (ATC) provides financial help to families who can’t otherwise pay for the programs their children need. You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here right along with you.