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Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), hereafter referred to as Autism, is a complex, lifelong developmental condition that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a child's social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is often referred to as a “spectrum condition” that affects children differently and to varying degrees. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each child with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to firmly challenged. Autism is different for everyone. While there is currently no known single cause of Autism, early screening and diagnosis can help parents receive resources and knowledge that supports their child's continued development.

Early Screening

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children receive autism-specific screening at 18 and 24 months of age, in addition to broad developmental screening at 9, 18, and 24 months. Developmental screening is a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have delays. During a developmental screening exam, a doctor might ask the parent some questions or interact with their child in order to see how the child learns, speaks, behaves, and moves. A delay in any of these areas could indicate a need for additional autism-specific screening.

All children should be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular child doctor visits at:

  • 9 months

  • 18 months

  • 24 or 30 months

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Identifying Autism

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is used to diagnose autism, however it is important to note that every child is different and symptoms can vary case by case. In general, the main signs and symptoms of autism relate to communication/interactions with people and routines/repetitive behaviors. 

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Communication

  • May not respond to name being called

  • Struggles to explain wants and needs

  • Difficulty with following directions

  • Seems to hear sometimes, but not other times

  • Does not point or wave "bye-bye"

  • Gradual decrease in verbal communication as child grows

Understanding Your Child's Diagnosis

We know that a new diagnosis of autism can be emotionally challenging for any family. That's why we're here to help. AUsome Sauce was created with the goal of bringing you comfort, in knowing that you and your child are not alone. It's our mission to help you navigate this journey, whether you're new to it or have been on it before. We're here to bring you connections, resources, and endless support.

 

Sign up for our upcoming events, where we welcome families with young children of all abilities to meet and connect in a safe space every month. We're confident that our support group can positively impact your family's journey. So what are you waiting for? Join our AUsome Sauce mix & let the good mixin' begin!

Additional Support

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