Every parent wants their children to be healthy and on track to meet their developmental milestones. If you notice that your child is not meeting these milestones, we suggest bringing them in for a developmental screening. Autism is a difficult disorder to learn how to work with, but the sooner you notice symptoms and the earlier you work with a specialist to figure out what is going on, the better. Diagnosing Autism as early as possible makes a huge difference for your child. Even if it is diagnosed later, working with an experienced therapist can alleviate some characteristics of the disorder and help children with autism to learn, grow, and thrive.
Monitor Your Child’s Development
Your pediatrician is your child’s helper and ally, but there’s a lot that they cannot see in a short 15-minute visit. As a parent, you know your child best. If you notice any odd behavioral quirks or a lack of behaviors that other children of the same age have, you should mention it to your pediatrician during your visits. Keep track of when—or if—your child is hitting certain important developmental social, emotional, and cognitive milestones and bring it up to your pediatrician. Some children are slower to develop than others, so taking a while to walk and talk may not necessarily be a sign of autism. However, if your child is not hitting developmental milestones at all, mention your concern to your pediatrician immediately. The sooner a diagnosis can be made, the better chance your child stands to have the symptoms of autism reduced.
Don’t Wait to Act
Some doctors may attempt to soothe concerned parents by telling them to “wait and see”. However, in the case of a child having a developmental delay, waiting is not a good idea. Whether it is autism or not, children do not simply “grow out” of developmental delays. Time is essential for young children with autism, as the brain’s plasticity is perfect for learning behavior at a very early age. It’s important to capitalize on the brain’s window for early learning. If your child is having trouble developing the skills they should have at their age, then targeted therapy will help facilitate getting your child back on track to meet their development milestones.
Listen to Your Instincts
Some doctors will treat developmental delay very seriously and perform a thorough evaluation for autism. If you disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis, whether a positive or negative one, don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion. At The Connections Therapy Center, our highly-trained specialists perform accurate second opinion evaluations and developmental screenings to put your mind at ease. A specialist is also very likely to be familiar with all of the subtle signs of autism. You are your child’s best advocate, so if you are concerned, it’s best to be persistent and thorough.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center is a top therapy center serving families of children and adolescents with disabilities. Our team consists of the leading experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavior sciences. We offer intensive, hands-on therapy for children and adolescents as well as resources for families. We are real therapists helping real families with real issues. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, take a moment to fill out our quick questionnaire. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 202-561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or 301-577-4333 (Lanham office) or contact us via our website. Want to keep up with our latest news and blog posts? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.