Sunny Horizons

Speech Therapy for a Brighter Tomorrow

April is Autism Awareness Month

What is autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that causes problems with social skills and communication. Autism can be mild or severe. It is different for every person. Autism is also known as autism spectrum disorders.

What are some signs or symptoms of autism?
Communication:
Not speaking or very limited speech
Loss of words the child was previously able to say
Difficulty expressing basic wants and needs
Poor vocabulary development
Problems following directions or finding objects that are named
Repeating what is said (echolalia)
Problems answering questions
Speech that sounds different (e.g., “robotic” speech or speech that is high-pitched)

Social skills:
Poor eye contact with people or objects
Poor play skills (pretend or social play)
Being overly focused on a topic or objects that interest them
Problems making friends
Crying, becoming angry, giggling, or laughing for no known reason or at the wrong time
Disliking being touched or held

Reacting to the world around them:
Rocking, hand flapping or other movements (self-stimulating movements)
Not paying attention to things the child sees or hears
Problems dealing with changes in routine Using objects in unusual ways
Unusual attachments to objects No fear of real dangers
Being either very sensitive or not sensitive enough to touch, light, or sounds (e.g., disliking loud sounds or only responding when sounds are very loud; also called a sensory integration disorder)
Feeding difficulties (accepting only select foods, refusing certain food textures)
Sleep problems –
See more at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Autism/#two

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