Learning the answers to some commonly asked questions may help you determine if your child is on the autism spectrum.
Wondering if your child is on the autism spectrum? In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, we share answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about autism.
Q: What is autism?
A: Autism, sometimes referred to as autism spectrum disorders, is a developmental disability that is defined by specific behaviors and can result in communication, behavior and social problems. While research is ongoing, there is no known cause of autism at this time. Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means it affects different people in different ways and to different degrees of severity.
Q: Is there a test for autism?
A: There is no test for autism. A physician typically makes a medical diagnosis based on evaluations and assessments while using the American Psychological Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a guide. Input from parents, teachers, caregivers, psychologists and medical professionals commonly provides important insight and information.
Q: What are the signs of autism?
A: Symptoms of autism can vary significantly. Signs often surface in children when they are between the ages of two and six, and typically include delayed or unmet developmental milestones. Milestones to check for include babbling and gesturing by one year of age, single words spoken by sixteen months of age and two word phrases spoken by two years of age. Another thing to note is if your child losses communication skills at any point. Other signs can include lack of eye contact, social problems, obsessive tendencies, unusual and repetitive physical motions and other issues.
Q: What should I do if I suspect my child might be on the autism spectrum?
A: If you have any concerns at all, talk with your pediatrician. He or she can be a source of information and answers about next steps. While there is no cure for autism, treatment is available and is often more successful the earlier it's initiated.
Find out more about autism from the Medical Center of Lewisville’s online Health Information page. To learn all about the services offered in our Pediatric and Adolescent Unit, please give us a call at 972-420-1518.