ASD is a disorder in which there is a delay in the development of socialization and communication. It is basically a complex developmental condition. ASD results in developmental delay. Another name of ASD is pervasive developmental disorders (PDD).
Some of the signs and symptoms of Autism in school-age children listed below. These symptoms often become noticeable when a child reaches school age and has difficulty adjusting to new social situations in a school environment – for example, staying on task, understanding and following instructions, making friends, and having age-appropriate interests.
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Causes of ASD
The cause for the ASD is unknown. Some of the factors that cause autism
- Genetic disorder.
- Environmental toxins.
- Exposure of fetal to valproic acid.
- Low birth weight.
- They try to avoid the use of spoken language.
- speech that sounds monotonous or flat.
- They try to speak in pre-learned phrases, rather than putting together individual words to form new sentences.
- In conversations they have the tendency to dominate others, focusing on topics that are of particular interest to the child.
Responding to others
- Taking people’s speech literally and finding it difficult to understand sarcasm, metaphors or figures of speech
- Their reaction is very negative when they have to do something for someone else.
Interacting with others
- Being less aware of the personal space of other people, or they don’t want to share their own personal space.
- They have less interest in interacting with other socially especially children of the same age.
- Finds it hard to understand what to speak and when to speak– for example, speaking very formally at a party then speaking to total strangers in a familiar way.
- They do not enjoy much in activities in which the same age of children enjoys.
- Don’t use gestures, body language or facial expressions when communicating.
- Avoids eye contact.
Unusual or repetitive behavior
- Perform repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, rocking back and forth, or flicking their fingers
- Plays in a repetitive or seemingly unimaginative way
- They will prefer to play with objects rather than people
- Highly specific interest in particular subjects or activities
- They always follow their daily routine. And become upset if there is a slight change in them.
- They have a long list of liking and disliking of certain foods based on the texture or color of the food as much as the taste
Following are some symptoms to find an Autism in school-age children
- Appears disinterested or unaware of other people or what’s going on around him.
- Doesn’t know how to play, make friends, and connect with others.
- Does not like to be touched, held, or cuddled.
- Doesn’t play games, engage in group games, imitate others, or use toys in creative ways.
- Has trouble understanding, expressing and talking about feelings.
- Doesn’t seem to hear when others talk to him.
- Prefers to avoid using spoken language.
- Difficulty in speaking and comprehending the language.
- Lack of eye contact.
- Difficulty in facial expressions.
- Repeat the actions and body movements such as hair twirling, hand flapping.
- Play with toys in an odd way.
- Mood swings such as temper tantrums, aggression.
- High pitched or flat voice.
You might find that some of the signs sound a lot like very different as compared to other autistic children. Every child has different development growth that does not mean its autism but when enough of these signs are present that your child might get a diagnosis of ASD. A professional diagnosis ADS when others check other possible explanations for a child’s behavior.
If you feel that your child is not developing, does not hears you, does not show interests in any activities. You can take your child to the pediatric psychiatrist or a pediatric neurologist. They are specialist in diagnosing autism. They will suggest the best treatment plan for your child.
There is no exact cure for ASD. Therapies are the best treatments. In some cases, medicines are given by the doctor. The medicine should only be taken when prescribed by the doctor. Some of the therapies are
- Behavioral therapy
- Play therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
Tips for Parents
Know your child’s strength and weaknesses. You must do a good assessment of your child so that you can clearly discuss it with his or her teacher.
Give teachers and coaches easy instructions. Give them proper and easy instructions so that they will be able to interact with your child accordingly.
Keep up with school. You can join the PTA or become a volunteer at school events. This will make it easier for you to keep up on what’s happening at the school. And your child’s teachers will get to know you.