There are a lot of myths and stereotypes surrounding autism spectrum disorder.
We think of them as savants.
We expect them to have one area they excel in.
We have the idea that autistic adults are incapable of living on their own.
These stereotypes can make it harder for autistic people to get the help and treatments they need.
Here at Sol Speech And Language Therapy, we offer speech therapy for autism near me that can help with the communication side of autism.
But for today, let’s talk about some of the common questions people have about this often misunderstood disorder.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella term for what used to be considered several different conditions.
It covers the following:
- Autistic disorder
- Rett’s disorder
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Pervasive development disorder – not otherwise specified
We used to consider these to be different conditions.
Now we recognize they’re all variations of the same thing – autism spectrum disorder.
Autism affects how people experience and move through the world.
It can lead to differences in communication, socialization, and how autistic people think about things and process information.
How Do They Test Autism In Kids?
Testing for autism in kids is based on caregiver observations and child behavior.
During the evaluation for a child, the test may involve activities such as games, puzzles, and other playing.
Your child’s Austin speech therapist will watch how they interact and assess their communication, behavior, and social skills.
- Issues with nonverbal communication
- Trouble making and keeping relationships
- Poor social and emotional reciprocity
- Making repetitive movements
- Inflexibility when it comes to routines
- Extreme responses to sensory input
How Does Autism Affect Day To Day Life?
There is no one particular way autism will affect someone’s day to day life, as every individual is unique.
As the saying goes, “If you’ve met one person with autism… you’ve met one person with autism”.
Some autistic people will struggle with activities others take for granted.
This includes being able to complete self care tasks, or being able to prepare and eat meals regularly.
They may also have a specific, set routine and struggle when it is interrupted.
They may prefer solitary work rather than needing to interact with others on a regular basis.
On the other hand, they may not – everybody is different.
At What Age Does Autism Appear?
Signs of autism may be present from a very young age – for instance, an early sign might be that your infant isn’t making eye contact by six months of age.
In some children, a diagnosis can be made as soon as eighteen months to two years of age.
If your child is autistic, early intervention speech therapy can help make sure they get the support they need.
How To Tell If You’re Autistic?
If you think you may fall under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorder, here are some things to consider:
- Do you find it hard to understand what others are feeling or thinking?
- Is it difficult to describe how you feel to other?
- Does the idea of social situations give you anxiety?
- Have you been told you come across as rude or blunt?
- Do you tend to take things literally, and have trouble understanding sarcasm?
- Is making friends difficult for you?
- If your routine changes unexpectedly, is that difficult for you?
- Do you tend to notice details or patterns which others may not see?
In addition, in cisgender women in particular, some of the ways autism might display include:
- Learning to “fit in” by copying others
- Hiding your feelings and being quieter in general
- Fewer signs of repetitive behavior
- Better social skills
How To Tell If Your Child Is Autistic?
Some of the signs of autism to look for in children include:
- Not making eye contact
- Not sharing smiles and other facial expressions
- No response to their name by one year of age
- Hasn’t spoken many words by sixteen months of age
- Prefers playing alone to playing with a group
- Restricted interests
- Doesn’t like changes to surroundings or established routines
What Are Some Coping Skills For Autism?
In autistic people, stress and overwhelming situations can lead to meltdowns and shutdowns.
Triggers for these meltdowns can include situations such as:
- Overstimulating environments
- Difficult and stressful social situations
- Unexpected changes in environment and routine
- Feeling misunderstood
- Highly emotional situations
People of all ages, including children, can learn to recognize these situations and remove themselves from the situation before the escalate into meltdowns or shutdowns.
Having a plan, recognizing signs of anxiety, and sticking to a schedule are some ways to help limit overwhelm.
Some strategies for coping include:
- Breathing deeply
- Practicing mindfulness meditation
- Listening to music
- Exercise, or just going for a walk
- Using fidget toys
- Switching to a more relaxing activity
Do Autistic Children Need Speech Therapy?
Not every autistic child will need speech therapy.
However, it can help if they struggle with things like:
- Conversational skills, and knowing when to speak or let others speak
- Reading non verbal cues
- Developing relationships and friendships
- Emotional regulation
- Understanding the intentions of other people
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Therapy Today
Is your child showing signs of autism spectrum disorder?
Do they have trouble making connections with other children?
Perhaps they prefer to play solo rather than interact with others.
Does the slightest change in routine result in a meltdown?
We’re Sol Speech and Language Therapy and we can help them build the communication skills they’ll need to go through life.
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy
555 Round Rock W Dr E-221,
Round Rock, TX 78681
Sol Speech & Language Therapy offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.