How to Detect Autistic Spectrum Disorders

· September 18, 2018
Here at Step to Health, we believe that it's our differences that make us unique as human beings. So, if you have a child with one of these conditions, you should never feel embarrassed. Quite the opposite. It will be a rewarding experience for the rest of your life.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are neurological conditions which can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral problems in the first years of life.

“There’s that boy who’s a bit different, doesn’t talk much, and is a bit introverted. He finds it hard to make friends or understand his school assignments. But he’s good at football. He’s got some sort of supernatural talent with a ball.”

Maybe you’ve heard something similar said about a child before. Children with autism tend to behave differently. However, they can also have some extraordinary abilities which, if they’re developed well, can guarantee a really great future for them.

People with ASDs may repeat certain behaviors and not like change in their daily routine. They also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to certain situations.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders include many conditions that tend to be diagnosed separately, such as autism, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDS-NOS), and Asperger’s syndrome.

To detect autistic spectrum disorders, you need to leave genetics to one side. ASDs are not diagnosed using biological markers. These conditions are diagnosed through an exhaustive process of observation and analysis of behavior and development.

Diagnosis of these disorders will involve health professionals (neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists) and education professionals (child psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists) to assess all the detailsthe family can provide.

How to Identify Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Mother playing with son and daughter

The way that ASDs manifest themselves can vary a lot from person to person, both in terms of differences of behavior and their severity.

But don’t worry. The important thing is to be aware of the condition and help your child as early as possible.

Some key characteristics can include the following:

  • Making very little or erratic eye contact. They frequently stare into space thoughtfully.
  • Tending to look or listen less to the people around them.
  • Rarely share objects or activities with others. Children with ASD have their own world, one that makes them happy, and lets them be who they are.
  • Difficulty following conversations.
  • Repeating words or phrases that they hear, known as echolalia.
  • Facial expressions, movements, or gestures that don’t correspond with what they’re saying.
  • An unusual tone of voice which may sound as though they’re singing, or conversely with the monotonous tone of a robot.
  • Problems understanding other people’s point of view, which stops them foreseeing or understanding certain situations.

How Are Autistic Spectrum Disorders Treated?

A young child clinging to their parents leg

Early treatment is really important for a child with an ASD. There are very few types of medication that specialists can use to treat this condition.

Medications for treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders may make the patient more irritable,aggressive, hyperactive, may exhibit repetitive behavior, as well as problems with attention, anxiety, and depression.

Therefore, it’s really important to go to a good specialist to work out the best treatment program. However, it’s also fundamental that the child doesn’t feel pressure or obliged to act like other children.

Reflection

A boy looking sad on a sofa possible because he has one of the autistic spectrum disorders

Here at Step to Health, we believe that it’s our differences that make us unique as human beings. So, if you have a child with one of these conditions, you should never feel embarrassed. Quite the opposite. It will be a rewarding experience for the rest of your life.

You’ll change as a person and you’ll identify with the cause. In many places, people are fighting for the rights of people who have conditions like these.

We’ve told you about some things to look out for if you suspect your child may have an ASD, but you should always get this confirmed by a specialist.