Autism

Autism continues to be a more common diagnosis among children in Washington state, and recent numbers show to an increasing prevalence. Nationally, 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 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.  

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

Pacific Science Center Early Openings for Individuals with an ASD in 2015

Pacific Science Center is opening its doors for Sensory-Friendly fun in 2015 from 8-10 a.m. the second Saturday of each month - FREE.  Check out the link here!

Looking for autism resources?

American Occupational Therapy Association Autism Resources

Autism Wandering Awareness Alert Response Education

Caregiver Toolkit for caregivers of persons with an ASD

View the Autism Outreach Project 2013 Parent Resource brochure.

Autism Speaks: Autism Speaks offers a resource and services library with information from vacations, to online support groups, to legal assistance.

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.  

"Wings for Autism" is a program the occurs approximately every 6 months. It offers opportunities for children and families to practice going to the airport, checking in and going through security, and a host of other great services!

Autism Info Cards are wonderful tools that can be handed out to people in the community.  They provide information about ASD and explain why and individual with an ASD may demonstrate unexpected behaviors.