Autism Care Specialist
Frequently Asked Questions
What is autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) — also simply referred to as autism — is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States. Often characterized by repetitive behaviors, social impairment, and developmental delay, autism is defined by a range of symptoms and their severity.
Some children may be able to communicate well but have a social impairment that makes it difficult for them to interact with their peers. Others may have severe language and developmental impairment in addition to social difficulties, making it difficult for them to communicate and interact with others.
Symptoms generally appear when a child is very young, generally between six months and two years old.
While there is currently no cure for autism, rigorous speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy can help a child learn to interact with their environment in socially appropriate ways.
What causes autism?
Since autism has a wide range of symptoms and severities, there is no definitive cause for autism. Several different genes are involved in autism. For others, genetic changes or environmental risk factors seem to play a role in the appearance of the disease.
Some researchers believe there is a link to several environmental factors the mother experiences during pregnancy that contributes to autism in the child.
Despite extensive research, there is no reliable study that has ever shown immunizations to cause autism.
How is autism diagnosed?
Early diagnosis is vital to your child’s improvement in their language and social skills. Dr. Kolsi will rely on you to inform her of any red flags in your child’s behavior that may indicate autism. Should your child begin to show signs of developmental delays, Dr. Kolsi may refer you to a pediatric neurologist, child psychologist, or another specialist for additional testing.
In order to meet the criteria for an autism diagnosis, your child must meet the symptom criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Problems with social settings
- Nonverbal behaviors used for social interactions
- Difficulty developing relationships
- Odd or repetitive movements
- Rigidity in routine
- An abnormally intense interest or intensity
- Extra sensitivity or lack of sensitivity to the environment
For more information on autism or to discuss your child’s symptoms, contact Dr. Kolsi for a consultation.
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