Tag Archives: Obsessive Behavior

Question?: Autism Signs In Infants

Ken asks…

Around what age is autism typically diagnosed?

Can it really be recognized in infants? If so, does the margin for misdiagnosis go up significantly in children so young? Will an autistic child always show signs so early or is it easy to miss until they are well into toddlerhood?
Alexandra – I’m just curious, I’m not concerned about Ari or anything…she *did* make me think of it because she has been engaging in some obsessive behavior lately…she’ll discover something new and do it over and over and over again, but I’m pretty sure that’s normal. It just made me wonder how you determine what’s “normal” and what isn’t when it comes to really young children/babies…their behavior is so all over the place, it just seems to me that it would be nearly impossible to diagnosis behavior abnormalities in children her age and younger.

admin answers:

I have a friend who’s son is the same age as mine (18 months). She’s mentioned in the past her fear that her son has ADHD or Autism. Her son’s first Aunt has autism, not sure what spectrum but she functions at the level of a baby, literally, and she’s a grown woman. She doesn’t talk and can’t be left alone and must be fully cared for.

Me, trying to be a comforting and good friend instantly dismissed her fears and worries. Told her these things could be normal, he’s fine, don’t worry, some kids are just different. And I honestly believed so at the time. I thought she was being a worried mom and I personally never noticed anything especially off about her son. Until I got to spend more and more time with her son and she pointed things out to me and I looked up some info. He does thinks like when he’s excited he makes this strange noise and flaps his arms and slaps his own face over and over and over. He’s delayed verbally and I felt it could be normal and he was just taking his time. All kids develop differently. But the few words he does know he only mimics the words, he does not actually seem to know what they mean, he just says them to say them or when she asks him to. I often feel terrible for her because her child is the most difficult child I’ve ever seen, and she does such a good job at keeping her cool. He has zero attention span and is always on the go, running here and there and then he throws a tantrum when she tries to settle him. But he does not move or be active with a purpose, he just runs around for the sake of moving. And he is always throwing a fit about something but never seems to have the ability to tell her and does not even try to gesture or point or anything. I’ve never in my life seen a child that threw more fits and especially over nothing than her son. I feel really bad for her sometimes and often feel like she should get a reward for how well she copes.

Anyway, I have started to see what she’s talking about when she said she’s worried. And am feeling bad for being so dismissive of her worries when she brought them up to me. And now I don’t know how to tell her I think she has a reason to worry and if he were my son I’ve have him evaluated or keep a close eye on him. I don’t know how to bring it back up, or say “maybe you were right and need to have him checked”. I mean how does one do that to a friend, and worry her even more?

My son does some things and I just think “oh, how very odd and strange”. He even does a few things that would be on the “signs for autism”. Like he sorts and stacks things and loves having things in their proper place and he is very particular and will focus on one thing for quite some time. The other day we were at the park with my friend and her son… There her son was running around like a madman and my son was in the same place for nearly 45 minutes sorting bark in the outdoor play kitchen on the playground. I thought “how strange, he’s on a playground with so many things to climb on and here he stands sorting bark and rocks, how odd”. But that’s the only “sign” he shows and I do not feel he has Autism or feel I have any reason to worry. He’s social, friendly, has age appropriate development and skills and seems to be a normal child to me.

As mothers we worry and are always on the look out for “what ifs”. But we also need to go with what our gut tells us! My gut tells me my son is fine and perfectly healthy. If my gut was telling me “something is very wrong”, I would have him evaluated or at least bring it up to the ped.

As far as an age, I’ve heard of kids not being diagnosed till they were already as old as teens. But the youngest kid I’ve ever heard of being diagnosed was 20 months. But he was extremely delayed and showed all the obvious signs, he even walked on his tip toes. So I feel for some kids it is possible to diagnose it early on, but others may not show any real signs until much later.

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Types Of Autism Revealed

The term “autism” is a generalized term which falls inside a larger medical category oftentimes called “the 5 Pervasive Development Disorders”. Autism is the most common type of development disorder and can appear in a range of  types and severity of condition. This has led to the term “Autism Spectrum Disorder” which can be often used to identify and discuss the differing types of autism. What this implies is that someone diagnosed as having autism will have one of several different types of autism which have features that are comparable in some respects and different in others.

Inside the Autism Spectrum Disorder there exists four subcategories of autism which are Asperger Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified or “PDD-NOS”. Seeing as each of these are types of autism they all share some general autism traits.

It is generally acknowledged that autism is related to the brain or what some are now calling “mindblindness”. At some point between birth and the first two-and-a-half years of age there’s a serious development problem inside the brain that prevents parts of the brain from functioning as one. As the child gets older they find it more and more difficult to communicate and connect to other people around them in what we deem a normal and socially acceptable manner. Dependant upon how bad the brain disorder was early on in life will determine how serious the type of autism is when the child becomes older.

What we have discussed thus far has told us that all types of autism are linked to a condition within the brain. Now we will look at how each of the types of autism are different.

1. Asperger Syndrome (AS)

indicated by impaired speech and communication skills
restrictive patterns in the manner the individual behaves and thinks

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Children with Asperger Syndrome often exhibit very obsessive behavior towards a single subject or topic and refuse to focus on anything else. This makes it very difficult for them to socialize with others, especially their peer group and they find it hard to talk and interact normally. Also very common is delayed learning when it comes to motor skills like riding a bike, being able to catch a ball or even climbing on playground equipment. The child is usually thought of as being clumsy and inept.

2. Rett Syndrome

symptoms tend to be noticed earlier on in a child’s life than other types of autism
generally is encountered only in girls and unexpectedly begins to surface some six to eighteen months after a normal infant development pattern

A baby with Rett Syndrome exhibits a slow down or oftentimes even a loss of customary development skills that were already developed before Rett Syndrome. Added signs of this infant disorder may include problems learning to walk, increased delay in learning basic motor skills and often there is a lessening in skull growth rate.

3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)

less common type of autism
occurs later than other types of autism, not until around age 3 or four
frequently a dramatic loss of social, communication and other kinds of skills

A child afflicted with CDD generally has demonstrated normal development well beyond that phase where other types of autism may become evident. Everything appears fine, until unexpectedly around the ages of 3 or 4 the child in a short time begins to have difficulty speaking normally, doing social activities with others and begins to fall behind in normal skill development for their age group. In very severe cases this may even lead to mental retardation.

4. Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

generally the mildest type of autism and is usually diagnosed around 4 years old
core features are problems with social interaction and communication

A child with PDD-NOS enjoys the company of other people but has a difficult time reacting appropriately and making genuine connections with their friends. For example they find it difficult to relate to the feelings of others, and as such would not know how to appriopriately react if someone is laughing or crying. Areas of difficulty with respect to communicating with other people include a restricted vocabulary, repetitive language, narrow interests and poor nonverbal communication.

As you can see the definition of autism just isn’t so simple as many people presume it to be. Differing autism features have given rise to a number of different types of autism that will impinge on children and adults in a wide range of ways, often depending upon how severe the condition is for that person.

It is extremely important to understand that the above facts about autism, together with the types of autism discussed, are merely general guidelines and are in no way intended to be a medical diagnosis. If you believe that your son or daughter may have autism, then please seek out medical advice from a physician.

Take action now to find out more about what is autism disorder and learn to help your child and yourself as a concerned parent or an adult dealing with autism. Visit our website now to learn more about the types of autism and much more. Articles on autism, videos and links to other resources including books on autism. Let us help you as we have already helped hundreds of other concerned parents with autistic children as well as adults with autism .
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Asberger Symptoms – What Are The Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome

Asbergers syndrome is a member of the Autism Spectrum Disorder family and the symptoms can vary quite a bit from person to person in both severity as well as which symptoms are present. Those people with mild Aspergers symptoms can be quite difficult to diagnose because although they know or their family knows there is a problem, they will often seem perfectly normal and they look perfectly normal. The three main areas of symptoms that are considered when diagnosis Aspergers are: 1. Lack of Social Skills 2. Lack of Communication Skills 3. Repetitive and/or Obsessive Behaviors 1. Lacking Of Social Skills Social skills are not very good in most Asperger sufferers and generally they will just find it difficult to ‘fit in’ with those of the same age group. They often find it hard to keep eye contact and they tend not to use much body language. As well as not using much body language, they also find it difficult to read other people’s body language and facial expression, which can make it hard for them to get a complete understanding of what someone is meaning. As a result, many Asperger sufferers will take things very seriously, including jokes, and can be upset or insulted by something that wasn’t meant that way. Asperger sufferers really have a tunnel vision view of life and only see things from their own view. The lack empathy for other and really find it hard to see situations from another person’s perspective. 2. Lack Of Communication Skills Aspergers will often talk in one tone or pitch and don’t have much variation in their voice and this can sometimes cause it to be difficult to read their meaning. Many sufferers will prefer their own company and are quite happy to sit and play with or study something of interest to them. They can seem quiet and shy and sometimes viewed as ‘standoffish’ although this isn’t their intention. 3. Repetitive and/or Obsessive Behavior One of the common behaviours in Autistic sufferers are repetitive behaviours and once again this symptom will also vary from person to person. Repetitive behaviours can include hand flapping, repetitive routines or repetitive speech. Aspergers do like to have a specific routine and function much better if that routine is kept, they will often become quite upset if their routine is changed. Obsessive behaviours might include being obsessed with a toy or activity or a topic such as cars, aeroplanes or trains. They will like to talk about their obsession constantly regardless of whether the person they are talking to is interested in that thing or not. Conclusion Generally a person will need to show some symptoms from all three groups to be diagnosed with Asbergers. If the symptoms are mild it can be difficult to diagnose. As a parent, you tend to know that something is different with your child, and if you suspect at all that your child may suffer from Aspergers or any other disorder it is important to seek help. The sooner that you seek help and get a diagnosis, the sooner that you can learn to deal with the symptoms of the disorder.

The behaviors and symptoms of Aspergers can be difficult to live with as a parent, sibling or even as a friend. To find out more about this disorder visit our website Asbergers Syndrome
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