What is ASD and what are the signs?

What is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), previously called autism and pervasive developmental disorders?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the following:

  • Difficulties in social communication differences, including verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Deficits in social interactions.
  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities and sensory problems

Many of those with ASD can have delayed or absence of language development, intellectual disabilities, poor motor coordination and attention weaknesses.

When might you begin to wonder if your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

While ASD is believed to be a disorder of very early brain development, the behavioral signs of autism characteristics surface between age 1 and ½ years of age and 3 years of age

What are the signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Signs of ASD range from mild to severely disabling, and every person is different. The following signs are considered to be red flags that indicate your young child may be at risk for autism. If your child shows any of the following signs, please get in touch with your child’s healthcare provider to discuss a referral for an autism evaluation.

The signs include the following:

  • Your child doesn’t respond to their name being called at all or responds inconsistently.
  • Your child doesn’t smile widely or make warm, joyful expressions by the age of 6 months.
  • Your child doesn’t engage in smiling, making sounds and making faces with you or other people by the age of 9 months.
  • Your child doesn’t babble by 12 months.
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as showing, pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
  • No words by 16 months.
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months.
  • Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.

Link: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8855-autism

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