It is every parent’s greatest wish for their children to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives. There are not many things as deflating to that dream as your child exhibiting signs of Autism. As Autism awareness grows and doctors know what to look for, the number of children being diagnosed with Autism increases daily. Now, 1 in every 50 children is diagnosed with some level of Autism. Although your child may be on a different life path than you had hoped if they are diagnosed with Autism, there are a lot of resources for children with Autism available now that give them the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives.
What is Autism?
Autism is a neural disorder that impacts several parts of the brain by modifying how the nerve cells relay information. This is often characterized by restricted social interaction, and unusual or repetitive behavior. Identifying the signs and getting involved in special education programs for kids with Autism as early as possible is a key factor in rewiring their brains to function properly.
Signs of Autism
Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning there is a broad range of severity level and ways that it is exhibited. Some children with Autism are non-verbal, while some Autistic children have trouble filtering what comes out of their mouths. About 75% of people with Autism have some sort of unusual eating disorder, making it a key diagnostic indicator. Other signs of Autism in young children includes:
- Reduced eye contact
- Limited ability to use simple movements to communicate, such as pointing at things
- Inability to express themselves or respond to others emotionally, such as smiling
- Intense interest on a single focus, or problems focusing on anything at all
- Sensitivity to their environment, such as sound or change in routine
If you believe your child has any such developmental abnormalities, talk to your doctor. Many of these signs aren’t obvious to a doctor in the limited time they share with your child during a checkup. Getting your child diagnosed before the age of 3 gives them the best chance of rehabilitation.
There’s Hope for Your Autistic Child!
Studies show that with therapy, 85% of children diagnosed with Autism are able to make significant improvements that give them higher skill levels and independence. There are a wide variety of services and special education programs for kids with Autism that tailor to their specific disabilities for treatment.
If your child is under the age of 3, contact the Early Intervention Agency within your local Healthy Department to get information on local resources. If your child is older than 3 when they’re diagnosed with Autism, start by contacting your school district to get information on special education programs for kids with disabilities. It’s also helpful to get involved with support groups for parents of Autistic children, for your own therapy and to stay aware of resources that are effective.
Do you have a child with Autism? What resources have been the most useful to you and your child? Please share your experience with us in the comment section. Learn more about this topic here.