Children & Autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication & behavioral challenges for adults and children that carry the disorder. ASD can go undetected for an extended period of time as there are no visible signs that sets those with ASD apart from other people. Differences among those with ASD and those without become noticeable when observing interaction. People with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. Learning, thinking, processing, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; while others may need less.
Often the signs and or symptoms of ASD appear subtly, hence, parents begin to noticed socialization problems and or challenges with children initiating and establishing friendships. Children with ASD often appear awkward in social situations, unaware of what to say, how to respond, or how to behave when someone attempts to communicate with them. Children with ASD are more likely to miss social cues that are obvious to other children within the same age group, like body language or the expressions on people's faces. Some of the children exhibit marked difficulty with understanding nonverbal behaviors and cues, i.e., a frown indicates anger or frustration, mouth turned down indicates the other person may be sad or unhappy, etc. Another sign that can help identify the presence of ASD includes the lack of emotion or very limited emotions. Children with ASD may talk about themselves with no emotion or intensity. The child may also exhibit rigidity when it comes to change in schedule or routine. Repetitive can be seen in activities or things the child enjoys.
Kevin is 4 years old, he is a quiet calm child that enjoys playing alone. Recently Kevin’s parents begin to develop mounting concerns about Kevin’s behavior. Unlike most children his age, Kevin prefers to play alone and displays difficulty communicating and interacting with children his own age. When other children attempt to play with Kevin he often shies away or appear in certain as to how to engage with the other child. As of late he also has been presenting with adjustment issues whenever his schedule is changed. Kevin throws tantrums when toys are not placed in the respective places, or if his mother prepares meals differently. Kevin also does not express moods and affect typical of children within his age group.