Frequently Asked Questions About Autism Spectrum Disorder
What are the symptoms of ASD?
People with autism spectrum disorder have differences in the way their brains develop and process information. Some general ASD symptoms are language delays or trouble communicating with others, performing certain unusual or repetitive behaviors, or having difficulty developing and maintaining relationships.
ASD symptoms can occur in two categories.
- Poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication
- Delayed language development (infrequently, some children will “regress” in language skills)
- Poor eye contact during interactions
- Trouble understanding the perspective of others
- Challenges with reciprocity during play, social interactions and conversations
- Lack of peer interest
Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests
- Immediate or delayed echolalia (repeating words while learning to speak)
- Has repetitive motor movements (such as rocking and hand or finger flapping)
- Is preoccupied by certain objects or topics
- Sensory interests (e.g., interest in objects with lights that move or make sounds)
- Sensitive to sounds, textures or tastes
- Has rituals
- Requires routines
Because ASD is a highly heterogeneous disorder, ASD symptoms are not the same in every child. The severity of the symptoms will also vary by child. Because of this, it is important to talk with a specialist if you feel your child may have ASD.
What is the treatment for a child with ASD?
With early and appropriate ASD treatment and therapy, kids and teens with autism have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life. The following ASD treatment options may help a child reach their full potential:
- Applied behavior analysis (ABA)
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
How do I interact with a child who has ASD?
Children on the autism spectrum have trouble relating to other people. ASD behavior may include having difficulty making eye contact and may seem uninterested in relating to family members. On the other hand, some children with ASD may love talking at length with family members, friends and even strangers about a subject they are interested in.
If you are a parent or grandparent of a child with an ASD, you may find it difficult to understand their behavior or to connect with them. Learning more about these disorders may help you understand the child in your life, and help you improve your relationship with them.