Here are some helpful facts that parents should know about autism spectrum disorder.

One in 54 children in the US was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 2020. Autism is a developmental disorder that impacts the way a child communicates, processes information, thinks, learns, and even responds to and socializes with others. Here are some helpful facts that our Monmouth County, NJ, developmental pediatrician Dr. Alison Smoller wants parents to know, whether their child has already been diagnosed or they might suspect that their child has autism.

The Diagnosis May be Overwhelming at First

When your child is first diagnosed with autism it may be scary and overwhelming. We understand completely. It’s important that you give yourself the time to read all the materials that our Monmouth County, NJ, developmental pediatrician has provided you, and to ask our team any questions you might have about your child’s health, diagnoses, treatment options, and more. The more you know the better equipped you’ll be to handle things.

Early Interventions Can Be Incredibly Effective

Detecting and managing your child’s autism as early as possible is important for supporting their growth and development. Some early interventions are geared toward a wide range of skill development including cognitive, motor, behavioral, and communication. Behavioral interventions that teach desired behaviors and then reward these behaviors are great for kids with autism.

Children with High-Functioning Autism will Still Face Challenges

While maybe not as visible or obvious, children with autism who are verbal and display high intelligence may seem like they are better equipped to deal with daily life, especially at school; however, it’s important to be aware that children with autism have trouble understanding certain nuisances when it comes to language and communication. They may have trouble understanding humor, sarcasm, or puns, which can make it challenging for them to socialize and connect with their peers. It’s also important to be able to recognize whether your child may be dealing with issues such as bullying in school.

Changes to Routine May Go Awry

Children with autism thrive on routine. So if little things throw off their schedule, even exciting things like a spontaneous trip to the aquarium, it’s important to be aware that your child may be upset, cry or throw a tantrum. Our developmental pediatrician, therapists, and other members of your child’s treatment team can teach your child coping strategies and behaviors to help them handle these last-minute changes. 

Developmental Pediatrics of Central Jersey in Monmouth County, NJ, provides comprehensive pediatric medical care and is proud to serve children and teens all over the state of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you’re concerned about autism, call our office today at (732) 660-0220 to schedule an evaluation with our developmental pediatrician, Dr. Smoller.

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