Recognizing the Signs of Autism

Today, one in 59 children is diagnosed with autism. Boys are four times more likely to have the disorder than girls.

There are several different subtypes of autism, which are all grouped under the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder. All types are characterized by challenges with social skills, speech and nonverbal communication.

Because autism varies greatly from child to child, parents have many questions about how to recognize it and have it diagnosed.

How can I tell if my child is autistic?

If your child exhibits any of these signs of autism, consider having them evaluated at a facility such as the Covenant Center for Autism:

  • A delay in learning to talk, or not talking at all
  • Little or no eye contact with others
  • Little or no pretend play
  • Not responding to their name at 6 months or older
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Unusual attachments to objects
  • Getting upset by changes in routine

I’ve noticed signs of autism in my child. What do I do next?

Bre Tacey, a BCBA Extern at the Covenant Center for Autism, advises parents to first contact their pediatrician. Your child’s pediatrician can give you a referral to the Center.

“After contacting your pediatrician, expressing your concerns, we do offer the diagnostic service,” says Ms. Tacey. “It’s about a three-and-a-half to four-hour process. You meet with a speech pathologist, a board-certified behavior analyst, a pediatrician and a child psychologist. After the assessments are completed, you’ll find out the diagnostic results the same day.”

My child has been diagnosed with autism. How can I help them?

Besides diagnostic services, the Covenant Center for Autism also has a treatment center for children aged 18 months to 7 years old. One-on-one Applied Behavior Analysis therapy helps children with autism develop speech and behavior skills for school. Treatment is individualized based on each child’s needs. “Ultimately the goal is to get these kids into the classroom,” explains Ms. Tacey.

Group activities are also provided to help children improve social and communication skills. Recently renovated, the Center for Autism has a large playroom and new playground. “It’s an amazing center.” (You can watch Bre Tacey discuss the Center on WNEM-TV’s Medical Moments). The importance of early intervention

Early diagnosis and therapy for autism can improve learning, communication and social skills, as well as underlying brain development. This can lead to a higher quality of life for your child as they grow into adulthood.

If you’d like more information about the Covenant Center for Autism, call us at 989.671.5738, or visit CovenantHealthCare.com/autism.

Posted Date: 6/17/2019


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