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Autism Checklists

Whether autism is more common now or just better diagnosed, the statistics show that more and more children are being diagnosed with this developmental disorder. To be blunt, there has been a shocking increase in the number of autism cases diagnosed over the last decade. Wisely, parents and doctors are seeking out ways to diagnose or rule out autism as early as possible during child development so that immediate treatments and therapy can begin when it is found.

Autism checklists have gained in popularity in response to fears and uncertainty about autism. Pediatricians can work with parents to make sure an autism checklist is filled out to help the diagnosis or ruling out of autism in each child. Many times the pediatrician will have a parent filling out the initial elements of the autism checklist when they come in to the office for an appointment.

While no individual symptom means a child has autism, a combination of symptoms can definitely point in that direction. Much of what will be found on an autism checklist regards how the child interacts with others. Another common symptom in the early years would be moments of unresponsiveness or blank staring. Even though the child normally responds to sound, the autistic child may act as if he or she were deaf for periods of time. Just as strangely, the autistic child may get obsessed with a seemingly minor noise while apparently not hearing the voice of a parent.

If a child doesn't ever seem to make eye contact during communication, this could be a symptom of autism. Forced eye contact may even make the child angry. So eye contact can always be found on autism checklists.

Severe forms of autism are often diagnosed when a child fails to reach language milestones. If the child does not begin talking within a reasonable amount of time or struggles to understand what he or she is being told, this may be an indicator of autism. Autism checklists will often ask questions about when the child began speaking and how the child responds to instructions. Questions will be asked such as whether your child uses gestures to communicate or gets frustrated when trying to speak. Less severe forms of autism and other developmental disorders may not be accompanied by extreme language delay.

There are also certain movements that if performed repeatedly may indicate autism. Autism checklists will ask questions about whether your child does a lot of hand flapping, circling, or rocking. It may also ask if you've noted any other such behaviors that may seem extremely repetitive.

It doesn't hurt to ask your child's pediatrician to check for autism or to have you fill out an autism checklist. The prognosis for an autistic child to develop important life skills is better the earlier the child is diagnosed and begins treatment for autism. The later your child is diagnosed, the harder it will be for your child to learn important skills.

Autism Fact #1

Because of the special way autistic minds function, normal teaching methods don't work. Understanding how the autistic mind functions, allows you to take advantage of this functionality to provide specialized teaching that will help young autistic minds learn much more rapidly than they could with standard teaching methods.

Autism Fact #2

The autistic mind tends to function in a visual manner. Specialized teaching for autism makes heavy use of pictures. Using words to describe something is nearly useless. Providing pictures of what you are describing is much more successful. Even better though is taking the child to see the actual item or place being described.

Autism Fact #3

Take advantage of the natural skills an autistic child may have, instead of focusing on weaker points. It is interesting to note that although autistic children tend to be visual and are often very good at drawing, they can also be very good with music. Take advantage of this by creatively using music and art as part of teaching other topics.

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