Does your child have autism, Asperger's or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (or PDD-NOS)? An inside look into the signs and symptoms
(ARA) - Does your child avoid eye contact, have little or no interest in making new friends or prefer solitary activities to social games? These may be signs that your child has an autism spectrum disorder.
Symptoms of autism spectrum disorders can present in many different ways, and can be confusing for parents, particularly if they aren’t sure of what to look for. It is human nature for parents to overlook the early signs, saying that their child is “just going through a phase” or “having an off day.” Lana Cramer, mom to a 14-year-old on the spectrum, says, “At first I did not understand why my son, Evan, hesitated to interact with others, and often seemed uninterested in what was going on around him. I figured that he would just grow out of it, but he didn’t. When our psychiatrist diagnosed Evan with autism, the pieces started to fit together."
While there are certain similarities among children with autism, it is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there can be great variation in the way it affects people. According to board certified psychiatrist Dr. David Posey, every child on the autism spectrum has unique abilities, symptoms, and challenges – no two children are exactly the same. That said, many children on the spectrum often share common core symptoms. These include:
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