What is Autism?
Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.
Developmental delays in both social communication and social interaction are widely recognized characteristics of those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Recognizing autism and related disorders is the first step in helping a child who is living with Autism.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have sensory aversions and can be sensitive to touch, sounds, smell, etc. Often having delays in gross motor, fine motor, visual perception, and oral motor skills children on the Autism Spectrum often have delays processing social information.
As a result of these complex issues children with Autism frequently turn to video games, television, and other electronic devices, finding comfort in the predictability and control of these objects.
Children with Autism usually develop restrictive, repetitive pattern in behavior and/or routines that allow them to deal with the complexity of every day occurrences.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a “spectrum” that encompasses a wide range of symptoms, skill, and levels. While some children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder are able to function independently others require intensive support in order to carryout daily activities.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5, published in 2013) includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.
Blue Light ABA Consultants are Autism and behavior specialists dedicated to helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related conditions.
We work with families to provide assessments and customized treatment plans. With the development of in-home treatment plans our goal is to help parents understand the challenges their child with Autism may face.
What cause Autism?
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. With autism, small changes in neurological development can result in significant impairment in social communication and social interaction. Most individuals with autism respond by developing simplification strategies that help them deal with a complex social world that can be overwhelming to them.
According to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Scientists believe that both genetics and environment likely play a role in ASD. There is great concern that rates of autism have been increasing in recent decades without full explanation as to why.
Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with the disorder. Imaging studies of people with ASD have found differences in the development of several regions of the brain. Studies suggest that ASD could be a result of disruptions in normal brain growth very early in development. These disruptions may be the result of defects in genes that control brain development and regulate how brain cells communicate with each other.
Autism is more common in children born prematurely. Environmental factors may also play a role in gene function and development, but no specific environmental causes have yet been identified. The theory that parental practices are responsible for ASD has long been disproved. Multiple studies have shown that vaccination to prevent childhood infectious diseases does not increase the risk of autism in the population.
Signs of Autism
While all children develop at their own pace there are certain milestone that most children reach within the first few years of life.
There are distinct signs that may be and indication that your child has Autism.
Eye Contact: Children with Autism often times fail to make eye contact and avoid peer interaction.
Empathy: Children with Autism show difficulty understanding other’s feelings and expressing how they feel.
Speech: Children with Autism can have delayed speech and language skills
Repetitive Speech: Children with Autism may repeat words or phrases.
Easily Upset: Children with Autism experience “meltdowns” when things change.
Obsessive: Children with Autism may obsess over things they like.
Body Movements: Children with Autism may flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles repeatedly.
Senses: Children with Autism might shown sensitivity to smell, touch, sounds, taste, and/or lights.