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Signs Your Child Might Have Autism

Autism receives a lot of media attention these days, and with good reason. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 2004, one in 125 children received a diagnosis of this complex brain condition. In 2015, diagnosed cases number one in 68 kids. According to the National Autism Association, the vast majority of autistic children are boys.Autism

Parents in the Monmouth County area need information on the signs of autism. Dr. Alison Smoller DO, a developmental pediatrician, informs moms and dads of the signs of autism. Early recognition and treatment of symptoms in little ones predict a higher quality of life and better outcomes as children grow, develop and take their place in society as adults.

Signs of Autism

While autism is a developmental disorder with widely varying symptoms, Dr. Smoller points to several common signs that may indicate a diagnosis of autism. The signs center around a child's developmental milestones regarding social interaction, communication, and cognition--or thinking and learning. Because severity and presence of symptoms differ from child to child, autism is often called "a spectrum disorder." Parents, grandparents, and caregivers often see signs starting around age 3 but may not fully understand what they are noticing.

Symptoms of autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can include:

  • poor communication skills for chronological age or complete lack of communication
  • avoiding eye contact
  • repetitive or ritualistic behaviors and inability to cope with change
  • fixation on certain objects or toys
  • lack of interest in friendships with children of the same age
  • a desire to be alone
  • lack of empathy towards other people
  • not comprehending humor

Contrary to common belief, low intellectual skills do not indicate autism in every case. Many autistic people have normal to even high or very high intellectual function.

Additionally, certain pre-existing factors often point to autism--things such as low birth weight, premature delivery and having a close relative, such as a sibling, with autism or ASD.

Screening for Autism

Skilled developmental behavioral pediatricians such as Dr. Smoller at Developmental Pediatrics of Central New Jersey screen toddlers and young kids for signs of autism with a careful developmental checklist. While a lack of common communication skills such as waving goodbye, smiling and responding to his or her name may indicate the child has a problem, parents often sense that something is wrong even if many developmental milestones exist. They simply feel something is not quite right with their child. That is also a time to consult with Dr. Smoller about autism.

Contact the Office

If you worry about your child's behavior or development, contact Developmental Pediatrics of Central New Jersey for a personal consultation. Dr. Smoller trusts parental instincts and will fully discuss and evaluate any concerns you have. Call (732) 660-0220 for an appointment today.

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