Autism is known as a spectrum disorder. There is a wide range of symptoms associated with it. Each person on the spectrum, as in other areas of life, is unique. Their abilities and the challenges they face are unique to them. Therefore, a tailored support system is required.
It is important to be aware that there are inconsistencies in the way autism is referred to. Often, when people refer to autism, they really mean autism spectrum disorders. Autism spectrum disorders or ASD refers to several disorders. These are autism, Asperger's syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder.
There are a few core symptoms that apply to people on the spectrum, in varying degrees. These symptoms relate to social skills, empathy, communication, and flexibility. Again, it should be stressed that the level of these problems and the combination will be different for everyone.
ASD appears in early childhood. It can cause problems with many areas of child development and learning. For example, learning to talk and interacting with others. Parents or the main carers will be in the best position to notice symptoms, as they will have most contact with the child. The sooner ASD is diagnosed, the quicker a tailored treatment solution can be provided.
It is important to be aware of the main milestones in children’s development. If there are delays at any of these stages, it could indicate a problem. The important word here is ‘could’. Developmental delays could be for several different reasons and do not necessarily point to ASD. However, it is worth checking it out with your GP.
Another important indicator is if your child’s development regresses. For example, if they begin talking and then suddenly stop. Or, if they suddenly stop playing games that they enjoyed in the past. This could be an indicator of ASD and shouldn’t be ignored.
Once ASD has been identified, there are several approaches that can be taken to support individuals and families. Home carers in Ashford, Kent can put together a tailored package and create an action plan.
Common symptoms in babies include:
As children get older, the symptoms become more diverse and varied. However, they tend to be associated with social skills, language, communication, and inflexibility.
Social interaction can be challenging for children with autism spectrum disorders. They may appear aloof and may seem to live in their own world. Language can also present problems. Often children with ASD acquire speech later than others. Their tone may be different, and they may repeat phrases. Another common problem is recognising the nuances of social interactions. They may not pick up on nonverbal cues and subtle uses of body language. This can make conversations difficult.
It should be stressed, though, that symptoms will be different for everyone. The severity of symptoms and the variations of symptoms will be unique to the individual. Understanding the underlying issues and providing a tailored support package is, therefore, essential.