Autism (ASD)

Praise the Lord, everyone.
 
This is a subject that has become more prevalent in our society today. Autism, also know as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Asperger’s Syndrome. It is a developmental disability that affects the way people communicate, behave, and interact with others.
 
There is no single cause as to why this happens, and symptoms can be mild to severe. Autism can start as early as a few months old in which time there is no clear way to diagnose if this is happening or if it’s something else. Children between the ages of one and three will have normal development and then begin to show signs and symptoms. 50% of parents with children having ASD notice issues by the time their child is a year old. 80% will notice by the time the child is two or three years old.
 
ASD spectrum is a very wide range. Children with this will have symptoms throughout their lives, but there is a possibility they will get better as they get older. Some symptoms are more noticeable than others, but the common thread is the difference in communication, social skills, and behavior. In social skills, the child may have a hard time interacting with others, but wants close relationships but not sure how to with others.
 
If your child is on the spectrum, they might begin to show signs by yhe time they’re 8-10 months old. Symptoms may include not being able to respond to their name by their first birthday, no interest in playing, sharing, talking with others, prefers to be alone, avoids or rejects physical contact, avoids eye contact, doesn’t like to be comforted when they’re upset, doesn’t understand emotions including their own, may not stretch out arms to be picked up, and show no interest in being guided when walking.
 
In communication, 40% of children with ASD don’t talk at all, 25-30% develop some language skills during infancy but lose them later on, some have delayed speech and start talking later in life, some have flat robotic speech or “sing song” voice, some repeat the same phrases over and over, some will not use gestures such as pointing and waving, some cannot stay on topic when talking or answering questions, and some don’t recognize jokes or sarcasm.
 
In behavior, some children act in unusual ways and display interests that are not typical, some have repetitive behavior, hyper behavior, some fixate of objects or activities, rituals or routines, and some get upset when things are changed even slightly. Some children are extremely sensitive to touch, sound, light. Some children are fussy eaters, lack coordination, impulsive, aggressive to their own self and others, and some display short attention spans.
 
Saints of God, knowing the signs and symptoms are important. If the child is not meeting milestones by 18 months, or has them and loses things like smiling at 6 months, babble and coos, pointing or other gestures, and speaking words, see your doctor and have them check for ASD. The earlier the treatment the more effective it will be, this is so important to the child’s future so they can function and be part of society.
 
Here are some scriptures to encourage you: 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 12:2, Isaiah 54:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Genesis 1:29, and Matthew 19:14