What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD's) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. According to the CDC, now 1:88 children are being diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Studies show ASD affects more boys than girls.
Signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders:
Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:
Speech and language:
Problems with speech, language comprehension and functional communication are common signs of autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:
Restricted behavior and play
Children with autism spectrum disorders are often restricted, rigid, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests. Symptoms may include:
Applied Behavioral Analysis is an effective and evidence based treatment with children who have been diagnosed with an ASD. The services provided vary greatly depending on child’s individual needs. With ABA, behavior assessments and programs are created that are effective in reducing challenging behaviors associated with ASD while teaching new replacement skills. ABA treatment can be useful in teaching behaviors to children who have ASD because they may not learn these skills necessarily on their own as easily. ABA is an educational and behavioral intervention that can target language, communication, social, life and play skills.
If you have a young child (16-30 months) and are concerned, the M-CHAT is an online preliminary parent screening tool. You can find it here at:
This is not a complete listing of signs and symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder, nor does it replace a formal diagnosis. Nicole provides this as a general informational tool for parents. If you have concerns about your child’s development or feel your child is not advancing at the rate of his or her peers, please contact me for a consultation or make an appointment with your developmental and behavioral pediatrician.