Autism Awareness Month – Signs and Symptoms #seeamazing

April is Autism Awareness Month!  With my middle child, Bug, having autism, I thought this would be a wonderful time to take a moment and spread awareness for this cause.  I have invited guest poster Alicia from The Mom Kind to shine some light on this topic for us.  This post was originally posted on her blog post, What is Autism? Autism Symptoms and Signs #seeamazing.

 

 

 

Autism as a word is very common knowledge now.  An understanding of autism isn’t quite as common.  Through the works of the United Nations, autism is brought to focus worldwide on April 2nd every year.  Here in the United States, we have dedicated an entire month to promoting awareness and acceptance.  The first step to making autism understood and accepted is education.  We must first understand what autism is and how it affect people.  So, what exactly is autism? What are autism symptoms?

 

 

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disorder that typically starts before age 3, but can be (and often is) at older ages.

 

Who is affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

In the United States, the current stats are that 1 in 68 children will are on the autism spectrum.  With average class sizes being between 20-24 children, that is one child per three classrooms on the spectrum

 

What are the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism symptoms can vary from person to person, as well as the severity of the symptoms.    All persons with an autism diagnosis will have some varying degrees in the following three areas:

 

  • Communication  (verbal & non-verbal)
  • Relationships-  Relating to others & their environment
  • Lack of Thought & Behavior flexibly

 

 

Autism Symptoms In Infants and Toddlers:

 

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months
  • Does not answer to name by 12 months
  • The is no babbling or “baby talk” by 12 months
  • No pointing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • Has no spoken words by 16 months
  • No meaningful two-word phrases (non-repeating) by 24 months
  • ANY REGRESSION OR LOSS OF SPEECH

 

Autism Signs and Symptoms:

 

  • Extremely Intense Emotions
  • Speech delay and, or learning disability
  • Not wanting to be held/touched/cuddled
  • Avoidance and sensitivity to noise and sound
  • Meltdowns – inability to calm down
  • Twirling and spinning of self and objects
  • Social and emotional Immaturity
  • Lack of, or struggles with empathy/sympathy
  • Having problems with falling and staying asleep
  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Clumsy, constantly getting bumps and bruises
  • Poor Muscle Tone (i.e. Not being able to walk regular distances without exhaustion)
  • Problems playing with others, Appearing “Bossy” or “Controlling”
  • Improper relationships with peers, acting like an adult towards other children or adults
  • Inflexible emotions and behaviors – Can’t let go of issues
  • Problems with getting and keeping friends
  • Inconsistent eye contact with others
  • Extreme intesnity of interests (i.e. obsessive collections of trains, barbies, ponies, wheels, acorns, rocks, toilet paper rolls, etc.)
  • Lack of Coping Skills – struggling with unexpected transitions
  • Struggles with conversations – conversations are very one sided
  • Robotic voice, changes or lack of changes in tone of voice
  • Persistent repetition of words or actions
  • Impulsive, lack of impulse control

 

Note: If you notice any of these red flags, please contact your pediatrician or family physician as soon as possible. Early intervention is key. Only a licensed professional can give an autism diagnosis.

 

“When you’ve met one person with autism,

you’ve met one person with autism.”

 

Just as everyone without autism is an individual, so are those with autism. The first step is to bring autism awareness.  The next step is acceptance.  Some times really need to get down to the basics.  Check out this great learning tool put out by Sesame Street with their #seeamazing Julie!

 

 

A Little Information on Alicia

The Mom Kind

Having four kids keeps me busy, especially when two of them have autism. Here I share everything that affects our lives. In true mommy blog fashion, posts cover topics from autism information, to parenting advice, family friendly recipes, to ways to save money. So grab a cup of coffee and join us on the adventure.

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