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Autism Diagnosis and Your Next Steps

J.V.’s Story of Autism Diagnosis

J.V. is now a 7 year-old boy who, as a baby and toddler, had an advanced level of early motor development. He could already utter one to two words by 14 months. Around 19 months, his parents became worried about J.V. because they noticed that his verbal and social development stopped, he was isolating himself from his siblings, and usually preferred playing alone. Several weeks later, he started to experience sleeping crises and tantrums. Autistic Boy Stacking CansHe also started to hit and bang his own head. When he was 24 months, he completely stopped talking and he didn’t socialize anymore. His parents felt that there was something wrong with J.V.’s development, so they decided to bring him to a speech specialist for a therapy. After his first therapy, his doctor told his parents that he needs to be evaluated for autism.

After a week, the results revealed that he scored on all the tests on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised. He also underwent Autism Diagnostic Observation and the results revealed that he has Autism. After his diagnosis to prevent his condition from worsening his parents decided to get more therapy sessions. Aside from speech therapy, J.V. also began his occupational therapy for his sensory issues and Applied Behavior Analysis 24 hours a week for him to improve his adaptive skills and to lessen his uncontrollable behavior.

J.V.’s therapy lasted for several years and when he was reevaluated at the age of 7, he had made a lot of improvements. He is willing to respond to his examiner and he even echoes the examiner’s words. He also compliments himself while he is working. And luckily, because of his supportive family, early intervention, and willingness for treatment, J.V. was able to make huge improvements. He can now participate and socialize with other people at a level he wouldn’t have been able to without intervention.

Although J.V. did not receive brain health intervention for his autism, addressing brain health is a key component to helping young kids with autism. Since autism is fundamentally a brain health issue with immune, gut, and inflammatory components, evaluation and nutritional intervention can identify where the brain is struggling, stop the damage, and help the brain to heal. With a healthier brain, social, verbal, and cognitive learning is faster and children with autism can thrive even more. Additionally, mood and sleep problems can dramatically improve with a healthier brain.

How to determine if a child has Autism

Although awareness is increasing, unfortunately some doctors are not trained to diagnose autism. Contact your local Early Intervention department to get evaluated. Early Intervention is a group of services offered for young children with special needs. If you suspect your child may have ANY developmental delays, it is important to get your child evaluated as soon as possible because there are many things that can be done to improve your child’s brain health and psychological development.

Signs and symptoms of autism vary from one person to another. But here are some common signs and symptoms common in children on the Autism spectrum.

Signs and Symptoms of Early Autism

  • Late development compared to other children.
  • Delayed speech development
  • Avoid eye contact with people
  • Isolating from other children
  • Inability to focus on one thing
  • Difficulty differentiating facial expressions
  • Experiencing sleeping difficulties
  • Always wanting to be alone in the corner
  • Inability to follow simple instructions
  • Cessation of responding to people who used to talk to them
  • Uncontrollable tantrums
  • Starting to hit or hurt themselves
  • Easily bored
  • Repeat phrases and words over and over
  • Give unrelated and meaningless answer to questions

What to do if your child is diagnosed with Autism

There is a lot of hope! With determination and the right intervention, a lot can be accomplished for your autistic loved one and their life can be dramatically improved. Patience, conviction and willingness will go a long way. And during this time when your child is suffering from Early autism, keep in the mind that they need you more than anyone else.

There are lots of thing that you can do at the early stage of autism.

Below are the list of the things that you can do:

  • Seek support from family and friends.
  • Have your child evaluated by a specialist immediately, and keep getting re-evaluated and tested to assess your child’s progress.
  • Follow your doctor’s suggestions.
  • Do your best to be patient and help your child feel loved.
  • Attend recommended therapy sessions.
  • Have your child’s brain health evaluated with MindWhale

MindWhale offers brain health testing and recommendations to improve brain health in autistic individuals. Among other things, we specialize in autism and we are often able to help children dramatically improve their cognition, social skills, verbal skills, happiness, sleep, and more. Contact us to get evaluated today.

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