What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex developmental condition characterized by persistent challenges in social interaction, communication, and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought or behavior. One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and become familiar with the typical developmental milestones that your child should be reaching.
Children with autism will have symptoms from a very young age, beginning before the age of three. Some children with ASD show signs of future problems within the first few months of life. Other children appear to develop normally until 18–24 months, then either stop gaining new skills or lose some of the skills that they have already developed. While every child develops differently, we also know that early treatment improves outcomes, often dramatically.
Progressive Option Support Services continues to support communities by offering behavioral health services to children with autism. At Progressive Option Support Services, we diagnose children suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and provide intensive in-home ABA services. We are committed to serving the family as a unit to help each child reach their full potential. Our services are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Websites like: AutismSpeaks.org and MyAutism.org help parents/caregivers identify possible “red flags” that may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking for an evaluation:
• Avoidance of eye contact
• No response to name by 12 months
• Loss of speech, or delayed speech and language skills
• No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
• No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter
• No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months
• Has difficulty talking about feelings of their own or other people’s feelings
• No spontaneous play of “pretend” games (such as pretend feed a doll) by 18 months
• Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
• Gets upset by minor changes in routine or environment
• Has obsessive interests
• Demonstrates self-stimulatory behaviors such as: hand flapping, body rocking, or spinning
• Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel