Is it Autism? What Should I Do?
From Lisa Jo Rudy, former About.com Guide
What Is an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
The word "autism" covers an incredible range of people. That's in part because autism is actually a "spectrum disorder." The autism spectrum includes several distinct diagnoses, as well as a whole range of different symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism
Most cases of autism are diagnosed in children ages 2 to 5. It's during these early years that typical children develop critical social, language and motor skills -- skills that are often delayed in children with autism. If your child is a late talker, prefers solo play, or tends to play in the same way over and over again, you may be concerned about autism. Learn the early signs of autism, find out how professionals diagnose autism, and find out why your pediatrician may not be the best person to evaluate your child for developmental delays.
- Symptoms of Autism
- What Do Autistic People Have in Common?
- Top Autism Myths
- Symptoms of Autism NOT Listed in the Diagnostic Literature
- "Stimming" As a Symptom of Autism
- Sleeplessness in Autism
- Hyperlexia in Autism
- Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autism
- Sensory Dysfunction as a Symptom of Autism
- Lack of Play Skills as a Symptom of Autism
- Social and Communication Delays
- Delays in Use of Eye Contact and Body Language
- Repetitive Speech and Behaviors
Early Signs of Autism
What does autism look like in an infant or toddler? Is it really possible to diagnose autism in such a young child? Researchers are working on this important question, with the understanding that early treatment seems to yield excellent results.
- Early Signs of Autism May Be Present at Birth
- Infant and Baby Diagnosis of Autism
- Accelerated Head Growth May be One Early Symptom of Autism
When should I start thinking about having my child evaluated for a possible autism spectrum diagnosis? Who diagnoses autism? What kinds of tests are used? Get the details!
- Should I Wait to Have My Child Diagnosed with Autism?
- Screening and Diagnosis of Autism
- Who Should Diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorders?
- How Is Autism Diagnosed?
- What to Do After the Autism Spectrum Diagnosis
Causes of Autism
There are literally dozens of theories about what causes autism. Is it pet shampoo? Vaccines? Genetics? You may never really know what caused an individual case of autism -- but here are some of the theories and the research behind them.
- What Causes Autism?
- What Does NOT Cause Autism?
- Causes of Autism: Recent Findings
- Is Autism Genetic?
- Do Vaccines Cause Autism?
Could I Have Asperger's Syndrome?
Asperger's syndrome was named by Hans Asperger back in the 1940s. He described a group of young children who were clearly bright and verbal, but who had significant problems with social skills, empathy and flexible thinking. Though Asperger's work has been around for decades, Asperger's syndrome only became an official diagnosis during the early 1990s. That's why many older children and adults are only now beginning to discover that their differences are diagnosable as Asperger's syndrome. Find out more about the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome, and learn how to seek a diagnosis.