Autism

Autism continues to be a more common diagnosis among children in Washington state. Nationally, 1 in 110 children and 1 in 70 boys and 1 in 315 girls are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Upon diagnosis of autism, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists may provide a combination of therapeutic treatments. A pediatric neurologist, a specialist who treats disorders of the nervous system, may also be involved in the care and treatment of a child diagnosed with autism. VMC's Neuroscience Institute includes the Pediatric Neurology Clinic.

If you suspect autism based on the signs and symptoms below, please contact your primary care physician or the Pediatric Neurology Clinic at 425.917.6218.

To contact Children's Therapy about autism treatment for your child, call 425.656.4215.

Looking for autism resources? View the Autism Outreach Project 2013 Parent Resource brochure.

Traveling with a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder:  Click here for a great document from the University of South Florida regarding traveling with a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Signs and Symptoms of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  

Critical Signs:

  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No gesturing (pointing, waving) by 12 months
  • No single words by 16 months
  • Loss of language or social skills at any age
  • Minimal imaginative play

Communication:

  • Does not respond to name
  • Cannot convey what he/she wants
  • Has difficulty following directions
  • Must be touched to gain attention
  • Could say a few words, but doesn’t
  • Has difficulty maintaining conversations
  • Has difficulty understanding abstract language

Social:

  • Doesn’t smile socially
  • Acts independently
  • Has poor eye contact
  • Tunes others out, including children
  • Unable to read sound cues
  • Difficulty reading and responding to other’s emotions
  • Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
  • Lack of warm, joyful expressions

Behavioral:

  • Has tantrums
  • Seems hyperactive, uncooperative, or oppositional
  • Walks on toes
  • Doesn’t know how to play with toys
  • Has unusual attachments to toys or objects
  • Does activities repetitively
  • Lines things up
  • Is oversensitive to textures or sounds
  • Moves in odd patterns
  • Spins around or flaps hands inappropriately
  • Repetitive movements or posturing of body, arms, hands or fingers