What is Autism?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, Autism or ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is a complex developmental condition involving persistent challenges with social communication, behavior that is repetitive and interests that are restricted.
What are the signs of Autism?
The early signs of autism vary widely. This is why it is important to be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Here are a few signs to look for as your child progresses in age.
- If you noticed that your child is giving little to no eye contact
- Not engaging in expressions such as smiling, laughing, etc.
- If your child still isn’t conversing in sounds, expressions, or smiles
- If your child isn’t participating in babbling
- Not using gestures such as waving, pointing, etc.
- Doesn’t respond to their name
- Little to no words
- If your child isn’t participating in speaking with two-word phrases
For any age
- Intense reactions to lights, smells, textures, sounds, etc.
- Delayed development in their language
- Misreading nonverbal interactions
- Preference for more than usual solitude
- Avoids eye contact
*Keep in mind most providers won’t diagnose ASD until a child is 18+ months old.
Developmental Diagnosis and Awareness
Each person diagnosed with autism have their own distinct strengths and challenges. Some children with ASD may need support in everyday life while others may need less support and can manage activities independently. In some cases the developmental impairment may not be as noticeable until their school years when they are amongst their peers.
There are a few factors that can influence the development of autism such as depression, anxiety, sensory sensitivities, and medical issues including seizures, sleep disorders, and gastrointestinal (GI).
Back in 2013 the American Psychiatric Association merged four distinct autism diagnoses. These include Autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, or the catch-all pervasive developmental disorder. Healthcare professional typically use the DSM-5 to diagnose mental and behavioral conditions. The test is used to classify disorders.
There are also different types of neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, and sensory processing disorder.
To schedule an evaluation or assessment for ADHD, Autism, or any other developmental disorders for your child search for a developmental pediatric specialist near you, or check out the list below:
- Little Spurs Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: LSDBP provides ADOS-2 assessments to children 0-21 years old in both English and Spanish and accepts majority of insurance plans. They currently have no waitlist.
- Pediatrix Developmental Medicine of San Antonio
- Pediatrix Developmental Medicine of Dallas
- University Children’s Health Pediatric Development Clinic
- Christus Health
- Peter C. Ray, M.D. – Behavioral & Developmental Pediatrics
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans.