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What are common symptoms of autism spectrum disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects brain development, impacting how children perceive the world and interact with others. Although there is much more to learn, researchers have made great strides in identifying and normalizing various symptoms. 

As you research, keep this in mind: symptoms of autism in children present differently in everyone, and your child’s symptoms may be more or less severe than other children their age. Avoid comparing your child’s symptoms to another child’s, and speak with a licensed physician or psychiatrist if you believe your child or family member has ASD.

It’s important to take action after speaking with a doctor. Research shows that children who are diagnosed and receive early intensive treatment for ASD are more likely to learn essential life skills and form better, deeper relationships. Once your child has been diagnosed with ASD, come see us at Therapeutic Pathways. Our individualized treatment programs are rooted in data-driven research and are designed to help your child thrive.

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Many of the symptoms associated with ASD are related to social interaction, communication, and repetitive behavior. The evidence-based autism treatment at Therapeutic Pathways provides aid to  the following list of symptoms ; it is not a comprehensive list of symptoms of autism in children and you should always speak with a doctor for a diagnosis.

Social Symptoms

  • Makes little or no eye contact
  • Doesn’t respond when someone calls their name or speaks to them
  • Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech
  • Speaks in an unusual tone of voice, such as sing-song or flat and robot-like
  • Lacks facial expression or makes facial expressions that don’t match the situation
  • Fails to point or show objects to others
  • Has difficulty starting or holding conversation
  • Enters conversation inappropriately, i.e. with aggressive or disruptive behavior
  • Has difficulty recognizing and responding to nonverbal cues, i.e. other’s facial expressions or posture

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Making repetitive movements (spinning, rocking, flapping hands)
  • Performing self-harming behaviors such as biting or head-banging
  • Repeating words or phrases (echolalia)
  • Has an intense interest in certain topics such as mechanics or an era in history
  • Being overly focused on certain objects, such as moving or spinning parts of a toy
  • Getting upset by a change in routine, even if it seems small
  • Being more or less sensitive than others to light, sound, touch, and temperature
  • Only eats specific foods or refuses to eat foods with a certain texture

Other Symptoms

  • Sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little or not being able to fall asleep)
  • Irritability
  • Mood disorders
  • Hyperactivity
  • Having a short attention span
  • Temper tantrums

Individuals with ASD have unique challenges in life, but they also have countless strengths. For example, many people with ASD are extremely talented in the areas of math, science, art, and music.

This is important to remember as you take steps to get a diagnosis and treatment for your child. Every person with autism spectrum disorder experiences different symptoms as well as different strengths and weaknesses. Be patient and thorough in your research, and know that there are many treatment options available for your loved one.

Treatment for ASD

It’s best to begin treatment for autism spectrum disorder as soon as possible after a diagnosis. Seeking early intervention is important as your child will learn coping skills to help them react more appropriately and reduce other difficulties they have. 

At Therapeutic Pathways we have resources for parents, caregivers, and teachers. Some of the treatment available for individuals with ASD include:

  • Medication
  • Behavior therapy
  • Educational therapy

Our treatment recommendations are based on a full assessment of your child’s unique needs. We will speak with you to decide the most beneficial frequency and duration of treatment. Therapeutic Pathways values family participation and provides training opportunities for parents and caregivers. 

For more information about our programs and centers, call (209) 422-3280 or visit our services page to find out more.

1. How old is your child or dependent?

2. What are your goals for your child?

3. Has your child been given a formal diagnosis of autism?

4. What types of behavior is your child demonstrating?





Please select a value.

Readiness

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Readiness program. This individualized, evidence-based program teaches young children skills they need to accelerate their learning and gain independence. Using imitation and naturalistic learning techniques, your child will develop useful skills in the areas of speech and language, cognition, and self-awareness. A program for children ages 0-3. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Foundations

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Foundations program. This program gives preschool and school-age children the structure to achieve important social, emotional, and intellectual milestones, helping them test within their peers’ range. With 25+ hours of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy per week, your child will develop social skills and better self-awareness for school and home. A program for children ages 4-7. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Breakthroughs

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Breakthroughs program. Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, this program removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships. A program for children ages 8-11.

Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Interactions program. Through guided social skills groups twice a week, this program helps improve social functioning in children ages 5 to 16. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

Independence

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Independence program. Geared toward older children, this program includes more in-depth skills that will help your child function independently. Taught skills include functional communication, self-management, and financial literacy. A program for individuals ages 12-25. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Your Child My Be Suited to Multiple Programs

Independence

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Independence program. Geared toward older children, this program includes more in-depth skills that will help your child function independently. Taught skills include functional communication, self-management, and financial literacy. A program for individuals ages 12-25. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Breakthroughs and/or Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited to the Breakthroughs or Interactions programs. These programs treat similar symptoms, so Therapeutic Pathways will need to meet with you and your child before we can place them within the appropriate program.

Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, Breakthroughs removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships.

Through guided social skills groups twice a week, Interactions helps improve social functioning in children. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

*This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Your Child My Be Suited to Multiple Programs

Breakthroughs and/or Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited to the Breakthroughs or Interactions programs. These programs treat similar symptoms, so Therapeutic Pathways will need to meet with you and your child before we can place them within the appropriate program.

Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, Breakthroughs removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships.

Through guided social skills groups twice a week, Interactions helps improve social functioning in children. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

*This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.