Autistic Disorder: How to Recognize and Treat It

All developmental disorders present a continuum of severity. In each psychological function, the alterations form a continuum of severity that changes with age and with the environment that surrounds the child at all times. These are not all-or-nothing situations, but rather there are a series of alterations that occur more frequently. an age or in a certain environment. As it turns out that behaviors change in relation to age, it is difficult to find or isolate a prototypical pattern of autistic behaviors .

In the early stages of development of children with autism it is difficult to diagnose or be aware of this disorder. This difficulty occurs both in parents and professionals. Normally, the characteristic behaviors of this disorder do not develop in children until one and a half years, so it is very difficult to make an early diagnosis prior to these moments of development.

The typical behaviors of this disorder are seen more clearly later and usually before the age of five. Rarely do all the typical behaviors of the autistic pattern appear together in the same child.

trastorno autista en niña

Manifestations in the child

In the first months of life we can observe the following manifestations:

  • Seemingly normal initial development, excessively calm. On the contrary, other children seem to be always excited .
  • Eating or sleep-related difficulties.
  • Very significant signs, such as the absence of demand to be held or hugged .
  • Difficulties to attach to being caught .
  • The gaze is difficult to establish , they are fascinated by looking at lights, flashing or bright objects, they do not demand attention from the people around them.

In contrast, most aspects of development at this age are normal, such as teething, motor development milestones such as crawling, walking or sitting, although they are not used to explore the environment.

Other important aspects

If before 18 months it is very difficult to make a diagnosis of autistic disorder, by this time most have been diagnosed. In addition to the behaviors observed in the previous period, they can attract attention: indifference or withdrawal from the environment; extreme rigidity in the face of changing objects, routines or their environment; who do not fix their gaze on others; the rest of the typical behaviors of autistic disorder appear clearly, together, in many cases, with delays and communication and language alterations of adaptive skills and personal autonomy.

Supporting the families, parents, and siblings of autistic children is essential. The changes and improvements of children with autistic disorders do not occur in a certain area, but are generalized in all areas of behavior.

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