Autism is a developmental brain disorder.
Early screening is important. The earlier it can be determined that a child has autism, the sooner he or she can get help. Parents who want a screening for their child should be seek a pediatric neurologist. It’s also imperative to get treatment early because in some states, insurance companies cover specific therapies only until the child reaches age 7, after which time payment must be made out of pocket.
Some parents believe the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) has caused the spike in autism. autism symptoms usually appear when a child is between 18 months and 3 years of age, the same age when vaccination shots peak. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), and at the American Academy of Pediatrics (aap.org), agree that the MMR vaccine is not responsible for the rise in cases of autism. Base decisions on facts, rather than on fear.
Food can become a major issue because these children often choose their foods selectively.To make matters worse, some children with autism have poor chewing skills, or may refuse to eat solid foods. There are NO miracles diets. Some vouch by gluten-free or dairy-free diets. Autism is a complex disorder, and a well-balanced diet is always best for a child.
These kids may exhibit behavior —which may include tantrums, self-injury and aggressiveness. These are learned behavior. The behavior is a way for a child with autism to communicate the need for attention or to escape from an undesirable situation. Learn to read the cues and change your behavior to avoid stressful time.
A child who is autistic is a strain, especially on siblings. Be upfront and honest with your other children about why the sibling with autism needs extra care. If possible, involve siblings in the care giving.
Beware of what you read.Because autism expresses itself differently in every child, only a small percentage of the vast amount of information online may be applicable to your child’s situation.
Find a board-certified behavior analyst who can help assess the motivation behind the disruptive behavior at www.bacb.com.