Autism spectrum disorder covers a wide scope of developmental challenges affecting at least one percent of the global population. Like many disorders, autism cannot be diagnosed by a simple blood test. Through behavioral observation, symptom tracking, and autism screening, doctors and therapists diagnose children and adults across the autism spectrum. Others may not speak at all or have difficulty with motor functions. Each individual on the autism spectrum lives with different strengths and challenges, so it is essential to find the right form of autism therapy for individual needs. Because autism can be difficult to diagnose, it’s recommended parents seek autism screenings for their children in the first twenty-four months of life. With the support of doctors and therapists, autism therapy can help reduce family stress and anxiety, preparing autistic learners for a bring and successful future.
Online programs from the aba|tools app provide diverse analysis and autism therapy options from your phone or tablet.
Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder may present in the early months of a child’s life. Screens for autism can happen as early as a child’s 18-month check-up. Common early symptoms doctors, parents, and therapists look for may include:
Avoiding Eye Contact
This may include self-isolation, not making eye contact with parents, or not visually tracking what someone is doing.
Not Responding to Their Name
Children with autism spectrum disorder may not respond to their name by age 1.
Not Pointing at Objects
Children with autism spectrum disorder may not develop the nonverbal communication of pointing at things that they want or need, which should develop in their first year of life.
Fixating on an Object
While children often pick a favorite toy or book, obsessive fixation may be an early sign of autism spectrum disorder.
Repeated rocking, hand flapping, spinning, gestures, and sounds frequently may signal autism spectrum disorder.
Extreme Sensitivity to Sound, Light, and Touch
While young children are often more sensitive to sound and sensation than older children and adults, autism spectrum disorder often causes hypersensitivity to the outer world.
Developmental Monitoring and Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Because autism is difficult to diagnose and symptoms vary, it’s important to monitor and screen for autism spectrum disorder throughout the first years of life. Developmental monitoring observes early childhood growth, such as learning to speak, play, and engage with the world around them. Parents, family members, and caretakers can monitor growth milestones through the early months of a child’s life to track developmental changes. Developmental screenings occur at the pediatrician’s office. Doctors provide detailed questionnaires about specific behaviors, movements, use of language, and emotional responses. These screenings occur less frequently than developmental monitoring, usually at 9, 18, and 30 months. Additional screenings may occur as a child ages if symptoms show early signs of autism spectrum disorder or if a child is at risk for developing autism.
While it can seem overwhelming to diagnose autism in the first years of a child’s life, the support of doctors and autism therapists can provide a wealth of care and support to help every family and child learn and grow.
Register for aba|tools for More Information
Once your child has received an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, resources like aba|tools can provide a wealth of knowledge and support for applied behavioral analysis from the comfort of home. Our library of digital language development content serves families and children with our clinician-developed tools to help meet each child where they are. We are excited to introduce the following digital ABA resources:
Founded by a BCBA, aba|tools is a convenient and adaptable ABA software serving children across the autism spectrum. To begin applied behavioral analysis therapy and learn more about autism spectrum disorder therapy with aba|tools, register today.