Autistic Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a neuro-developmental disorder which affects millions of American children. Extending into adulthood, this learning, social and communication difference concerns your professional team at ABC Pediatrics in McKinney, TX. Autism requires support for both children and their families. Read some FAQs about ASD here.
What does autism look like?
Autism impacts how a child (or adult) interacts socially, communicates and learns. Categorized as Level one, two, or three, indicating severity and need for support, autism presents with neuro-typical behaviors such as:
- Inability to initiate conversation and maintain a back and forth exchange of ideas and pleasantries
- Lack of eye contact and desire to live, work, and play alone
- Extreme interest in one hobby or object
- Ritualistic behaviors
- Hypersensitivity to sounds, light, smells, and textures
- Difficulty changing routines (school schedules, for instance)
Who has autism?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that boys are up to five times as likely to be on the autistic spectrum than girls are. Heredity seems to play a significant role in being autistic. As scientists, psychologists, educators and health care providers learn more about ASD, it becomes easier to recognize it and get children and their families the support they need.
Can autistic children learn?
Yes, they can. In fact, many are highly intelligent. Abilities vary widely though, and many skills, such as language and walking, may be delayed significantly. Conversely, a very difficult skill may be acquired before something simpler.
What can I do to help my child?
Communicate your concerns with your pediatrician at ABC Pediatrics in McKinney. As our practice is your child's medical home, the doctor can refer you to specialists in autism who can more definitely diagnose the disorder and recommend home and school interventions.
On a day to day basis, remember that autism is not a disease. It is a brain difference which needs kindness, understanding, patience and consistency on the part of parents, peers, and teachers. At home, be sure to:
- Establish regular routines for bedtime, meals, homework, and play
- Praise positive behaviors
- Be aware of your child's sensory sensitivities
- Talk openly and frankly with extended family, friends, and educators about your child's needs
- Accept your youngster for who he or she is
Autism is not easy, but as parents and caregivers, we can help children with ASD lead happy, successful lives. If you have questions or concerns about this neuro-developmental disorder, please contact ABC Pediatrics in McKinney for a consultation. We are open Monday through Saturday. Phone (972) 569-9904.