The conventional academic environment can be troubling for students with autism, but it is possible for your child with autism find success in school by providing support for the common roadblocks that exist in the classroom. Below, you can see just a few of the helpful strategies that might allow your child to feel more comfortable in school and get extra help when it is needed.
Schedule a school visit before class begins
If your child is just starting school or moving to a new school, gaining familiarity with the environment can go a long way. Unfamiliar environments can be a big source of anxiety for children with autism, so having a preliminary look at the school facilities can reduce stress in his or her first days of school.
Communicate with your child’s teachers
Your child may have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) to outline educational goals and special needs in the classroom, and regular meetings may be set up to communicate with the school staff about the IEP. You might, however, set up additional meetings with your child’s teacher to check in and get a more detailed update on where your child is struggling and where he or she is succeeding in the classroom.
Create consistent reward systems
By regularly keeping in touch with your child’s teacher, you can also ensure that you use consistent systems for positively reinforcing good behavior. Children with autism will generally respond positively to consistent routines and interactions, so it is helpful to use the same systems of helping with homework and encouraging social interaction both inside and outside of the classroom.
With the School Support and Advocacy services offered by The Behavior Exchange , you can build a more positive relationship with your child’s school and ensure that he or she gets a great education. To explore all of the services at our Plano center, give us a call at (888) 716-8084.
Autism is a behavioral disorder that can significantly impair social and communication skills, resulting in difficulty in school and throughout life. While there is still much to be learned about autism, there are some clear facts and statistics that might better your understanding of this condition so that you are able to find the appropriate treatment for your child.
About 3.5 million Americans live with some type of autism spectrum disorder, and the cost of care for this population is very high. Overall, autism services cost between $236 billion and $262 billion annually. The majority of these costs is seen in adult services, which is why early diagnoses and care throughout childhood are essential. With earlier intervention, individuals with autism will have greater opportunities for school success, which will have a lifelong impact.
If you are seeking care for your child with autism, The Behavior Exchange can help with applied behavioral analysis , social skills groups, and our Early-Start Program. To connect with us in Plano, call (888) 716-8084 today.
While there is no cure for autism, there are many strategies for improving the communication and social skills of kids with autism to help them become more functional in many different environments. Early intervention services will offer the most benefits, so it is helpful to know some of the earliest signs of autism to look out for. Below, you can see some of the behaviors that might alert you that your child is not developing normally as a toddler.
By age 1 , children are often eager to imitate those around them, and they will enjoy interacting with people that they know. There may be some uneasiness around strangers and fussiness when mom or dad leave the room, but typically 1 year olds will show enthusiasm for learning to walk, talk, and play. In children with autism, you might see a lack of interest in these activities as well as an absence of exclamations and first words like “no,” “mama,” and “dada.”
At 2 years, kids should be saying simple two-word phrases, point to named objects, and show excitement for spending time around other kids their age. Your child may avoid interaction with others or fail to reach key language milestones if he or she has an autism spectrum disorder.
Children with autism are typically diagnosed between ages 3 and 6, as a lack of interest in social activities and slow language development become evident at these ages. By age 3, children should be able to express a wide range of emotions and show affection for frequent playmates or family members.
At The Behavior Exchange in Plano, you can explore resources to help you move toward an autism diagnosis in your child and seek treatment services that will help him or her succeed throughout life. Our Early-Start Program is designed just for young learners, and it offers a child to therapist ratio of 3:1 for detailed, personalized attention. To learn more, give us a call at (888) 716-8084.
Unlike many conditions, there is no available blood test, diagnostic imaging scan, or other medical tests that can definitively diagnose autism spectrum disorders . Despite this, diagnosing autism as early as possible is imperative. When parents receive an autism diagnosis early in the child’s life, they can quickly arrange for early intervention services that will support the child during the crucial years of development. Typically, the process for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders begins with parental or pediatrician observations of developmental delays.
Scheduling an Appointment with a Pediatrician
Although your family’s experience may be different, the diagnostic process for autism may start with an appointment with a pediatrician. During your child’s regular check-ups, the pediatrician is likely to ask you some basic questions about his or her development. While some variations are to be expected, significant delays in motor skills, social skills, language acquisition, or other areas of development may warrant further evaluation. In other cases, parents become concerned about their children’s development and they may bring these issues to the attention of the pediatrician. Parents who are alert to the possible signs of autism can contribute to an early diagnosis.
Consulting a Behavior Analyst
If the pediatrician finds that the child’s development raises concerns, he or she may refer the parents to a behavior analyst. However, even if the pediatrician is not overly concerned about the child’s development, parents can certainly talk to a specialist regardless. Behavior analysts can conduct an in-depth evaluation of the child’s ability to follow the rules of conversation, understand the ambiguous use of non-literal language, use and interpret nonverbal communication cues, and use communication appropriately within a social context. If the child is found to have an autism spectrum disorder, the behavior analyst can use the findings of the evaluation to inform the autism therapy recommendations .
Parents who are concerned that their children aren’t developing at a rate that is on target for their age range can contact The Behavior Exchange. We are an ABA school near the DFW area that provides comprehensive and compassionate evaluation and intervention services based on evidence-based techniques. Parents can reach us by calling (888) 716-8084.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be indicated by developmental delays. For example, a child with autism may be slow to babble and acquire language skills. All children develop at their own paces. Slight deviations from the expected childhood development milestones are not necessarily a cause for concern. However, it’s advisable to share your developmental concerns with a specialist sooner, rather than later, given that early intervention is crucial for fostering a favorable outcome in children with autism.
Inform Your Child’s Pediatrician
Often, the child’s pediatrician is the first person that parents will consult regarding potential symptoms of autism. Pediatricians have a thorough understanding of typical developmental milestones and can determine if your child may benefit from an autism screening.
Consult an ABA Therapist
Another step to take is to look for an ABA therapist near you who can evaluate your child for autism. Ahead of the evaluation, you may wish to write a list of your concerns and observations of your child’s developmental issues . Let the ABA therapist know, for instance, if your child refuses eye contact or is behind on language acquisition milestones. You should also inform the therapist if your child was progressing typically, but then began experiencing a regression.
Learn How to Help Your Child
If your child does have autism, you should be aware that there are support services available for your family. Your child’s ABA therapist can assess his or her unique needs and limitations, and develop personalized recommendations for your family. Early intervention can help your child overcome obstacles to making friends, behaving appropriately, and progressing in school. Parent training classes can help your family understand how best to respond to various situations and encourage desirable behaviors in your child.
The Behavior Exchange provides ABA therapy and extensive support services for families affected by autism. If you’ve noticed possible signs of autism in your child, you can schedule a consultation with one of our friendly specialists today. Call our ABA school near Plano at (888) 716-8084 or visit us on the Web to learn more about our services.
If your child has been diagnosed with autism, you may have a number of different questions about this disorder and the ways to cope with the challenges it can present. It is important to work with a doctor who will take the time to answer all of your questions, since every child will have unique needs that will not have a one-size-fits-all solution. Below, you can see a few of the questions you might discuss with your child’s pediatrician or psychologist to guide you to the right solutions for managing autism symptoms.
How can I encourage communication skills in my child?
Communication is not only a challenge for children with autism, but it may be a tough barrier for parents too. It can be hard for parents to feel close to their children who do not frequently engage in conversation, so you might work with the doctor to explore communication strategies that work for your family.
Can my child attend a regular school?
Schooling decisions will vary, depending on how much difficulty your child has with social and behavioral skills. When children participate in applied behavioral analysis therapy, they are more likely to build the constructive habits needed to succeed in the regular school environment. If your doctor does not advise regular school for your child, you will want to ask about alternative solutions that can ensure a good education.
Are there ways to help my child get more sleep at night?
Autism is often associated with difficulty sleeping, which may be controlled through a more consistent sleep schedule and exercise routine. There are a number of factors that can influence sleep, so work with your doctor to explore the best strategies for encouraging better sleep at night, which can in turn reduce daytime crankiness.
With The Behavior Exchange in Plano, you and your child can learn productive methods for coping with the challenges of autism spectrum disorders utilizing proven therapies and social activities. To learn more about our programs for toddlers and school age children, give us a call at (888) 716-8084.
There are a number of misconceptions that exist when it comes to communication skills in individuals with autism. Communication difficulties effects the way a child will acquire language and interact socially. Some children with autism actually have rather extensive vocabularies and speak in long sentences, but they are challenged by two-way conversations in which non-verbal communication is essential. Below, you can get a closer look at the specific challenges individuals with autism face so that you are better able to understand effective communication strategies for your child.
Lack of interest in spoken language
Children with autism may start speaking much later than other children, because they do not have the natural inclination to listen to their parents and other adults to pick up language. A child with autism may not imitate sounds and facial expressions, and he or she may seem more interested in ambient noise than the sounds of a conversation. Therefore, it may seem that your child is often distracted or not listening to what you are saying.
Missed non-verbal cues
An important part of communication is recognizing facial expressions, body language, eye contact, and tone of voice. These are all cues that children with autism may have difficulty picking up, so they may misinterpret what a person is feeling and how to appropriately respond.
Disinterest in social communication
Because autism causes difficulty with the subtle nuances of conversation, it may be hard for children with autism to engage in social situations, so they may become isolated or gravitate more toward solo activities.
If your child is struggling with communication due to autism, explore the applied behavior analysis and social skills development services of The Behavior Exchange near Plano. To schedule a consultation for your child at our center, give us a call at (888) 716-8084 today.
There are three primary areas in which a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) might struggle. They are speech and language, behavior, and social interaction. However, not all children with autism will necessarily experience deficits in all of these areas, nor will they experience the exact same challenges within these areas. When a child begins to display the symptoms of autism , an ABA therapist can evaluate the child before developing a customized therapy plan to address his or her specific deficits.
Parents of children with autism may observe atypical behaviors in their child . Some children may have repetitive body movements, such as spinning or hand flapping. Others may display an atypical posture or seem awkward with physical movements. Many children with autism become unusually attached to a specific routine and may experience difficulty adapting to any changes in the routine. The same applies to their environment; children with autism may need to have their toys arranged in a certain manner. Some children with autism become fixated on one narrow topic of interest, such as train schedules or sports statistics.
It’s common for children with autism to experience speech and language deficits. These can vary widely in intensity. Some children may not speak at all or may have significant speech delays. Children who are verbal may have difficulty initiating, maintaining, and ending a conversation appropriately, and they may interpret abstract language in a literal fashion. Parents might notice that their kids have an odd rhythm of speech or tone of voice, or that they repeat the same words regardless of meaning and context.
Social interaction can be difficult for children with autism. Though they may want to make friends, they may not understand how to do so. Some children with autism may prefer to play by themselves, rather than with others, and they may display little interest in what other people are doing. They may also have trouble interpreting body language and facial expressions.
Does your child display some of the signs of autism? You can find comprehensive support services at The Behavior Exchange , where it’s our mission to improve quality of life for families and to help children with autism symptoms reach their full potential. If you have any questions, call us at (888) 716-8084 or browse our website to learn more about our services, including individual and group therapy.
One of the many problems encountered by individuals with autism , their families, and those who interact with them is the confusion regarding diagnostic criteria. Until May of 2013, an autism specialist might diagnose a child with autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). However, autism specialists tend to agree that these diagnoses do not accurately reflect the individual child’s deficits, given that the types and severity of symptoms children with autism experience vary widely. The new, official diagnostic criteria do not recognize autism types. Instead, they establish the guidelines for diagnostic criteria and symptom assessment.
New Criteria for an Autism Diagnosis
The new manual used to establish an autism diagnosis recognizes that the child must meet two criteria. The first involves social communication and social skills deficits. For example, the child may not be interested in playing with peers, may not participate in imaginative play, and may have trouble maintaining relationships. The child may also display lack of eye contact, and difficulties with body language, gestures, and facial expressions. Secondly, the child must display repetitive behaviors or unusual interests, such as hand flapping, lining up toys in a set pattern, being inflexible with regard to routines, or fixating on a particular interest such as trains. Additionally, the child may display repetitive speech and have atypical reactions to stimuli.
Severity of Autism Symptoms
Once a diagnosis of autism has been established, the autism specialist can consider which of three levels appropriately describes the severity of symptoms. Children with level one symptoms require support. They may be able to speak in full sentences, yet lack conversation skills, for example. Children who have level two symptoms require substantial support. Communication and interactions may be limited , and repetitive behaviors may cause social difficulties in multiple settings. Children with level three symptoms are considered to require very substantial support. They display severe deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and behaviors.
If you have questions about autism, the team at The Behavior Exchange can provide the answers. We’re on a mission to provide exceptional autism therapy near Dallas to help kids and their families overcome the many challenges associated with autism. To find out more or schedule a consultation with one of our autism therapists, call (972) 755-3804.
High functioning autism—also labeled as Asperger’s syndrome—is at one end of the spectrum of autism disorders, and it is marked by symptoms that are less severe than other forms of autism, often accompanied by average or above-average intelligence. While high functioning autism does tend to have a milder range of symptoms, it can still be a significant disruption in social and academic development . Therefore, parents should not ignore these classic characteristics of high functioning autism, which may not be noticeable until later in adolescence unlike the signs of more severe autism disorders.
Difficulty transitioning between activities
Children with high functioning autism tend to have great strength in certain academic areas with difficulty in others. This can create difficulties with low attention spans or difficulty transitioning from one lesson to another.
Social interaction may be difficult for children with high functioning autism , since children may have extreme emotional reactions, inappropriate outbursts, and high sensitivity to loud noises or multiple verbal commands. Discipline may be a challenge as well, since children tend to either shut down or have emotional breakdowns when they are reprimanded for negative behaviors.
Persistent gastrointestinal health issues
There are some physical symptoms often seen in people with high functioning autism. Food allergies and sensitivity, frequent constipation or diarrhea, and incontinence can be seen in high functioning individuals. Managing these conditions, food sensitivities in particular, may be integral to managing behavior for children and teens with autism.
Resistance to social activity
Because of challenges like difficulty understanding jokes and appropriate social behaviors, it may be hard for high functioning individuals to maintain friendships. As a result, children may begin to resist social interactions and take to more solitary activities.
If you have noticed these signs and symptoms in your child, contact The Behavior Exchange in Dallas to explore the best approach for therapy and educational programs to improve behaviors and boost academic success. You can reach us on our website or at (888) 716-8084 to schedule a consultation with our specialized, attentive staff .
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