Autism Awareness Month: Know the Signs

Autism Awareness MonthEach April, organizations around the globe celebrate Autism Awareness Month, a campaign intended to raise public awareness of this disorder. In support of this campaign, Speech Associates of NY will dedicate the month of April to blogs focusing on Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Speech-language pathologists play a significant role in managing the communication and behavioral issues that accompany autism. The earlier the child receives this intervention, the more likely they are to benefit. For that reason, it’s critical that parents know THREE important signs and symptoms of autism, so they can get an evaluation as early as possible.

What are the THREE IMPORTANT signs and symptoms of Autism?

  • Communication issues: A child with autism may develop speech and language skills more slowly than their peers. They may also “lose” words that they had previously learned at an earlier age. Limited vocabulary, difficulty expressing wants and needs, and difficulty responding to questions can all be signs that your child is having language development issues.
  • Social problems: Children with ASD often have issues with basic social skills. Limited or absent eye contact during interactions is one common symptom. They may also become very narrowly focused on a particular object or topic. Unexpected or unexplained outbursts of emotion are also common, for example, bursts of crying, uncontrolled laughter, or intense anger with no apparent cause.
  • Sensory issues: Children on the autistic spectrum often have issues dealing with different physical sensations. They may be averse to eating a typical range of foods or be unable to tolerate particular materials or types of clothing. Repetitive movements, like hand flapping, are also common, and seen as a way for a child to stimulate his own sensory system. Sensitivity to loud noises, intense light, or physical touch can also be signs of sensory issues.

It’s very important to note that many of these symptoms and behaviors are seen in typically developing children as well, and the presence of one or a few does not necessarily mean that your child has autism or a developmental disorder. However, if many of the criteria above describe your child or you feel something isn’t right, make an appointment to have your child evaluated right away; early intervention is the most effective, and it’s always better to play it safe when it comes to your child’s development.

Do you or does someone you love have autism? Share your experience below in the comment section!

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2014, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

 

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