How Does Autism Affect Physical Development – Autism and ADHD: A Complete Guide to Social Challenges Understanding the key differences between the social challenges of ADHD and autism is often the key to effective support.
All parents want their children to get along well, play and socialize with their peers. Usually, these social skills are developed intuitively. For children who struggle socially, the earlier interventions begin, the faster the children reach them. Because both autism and ADHD affect relationships, finding the “why” behind social problems is an important first step.
- 1 How Does Autism Affect Physical Development
- 1.1 Teaching Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Willis, Clarissa: 9780876590089: Amazon.com: Books
- 2 Therapies For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
- 3 What To Look For In Child Care For Autistic Children
How Does Autism Affect Physical Development
Autism is a neurobiological disability in which social skills do not develop as expected. The more severe disorder affects children who have difficulty communicating with others and have limited language or are nonverbal. At the other end of the spectrum, some extroverted autistic children seek out others and socialize with adults, but have difficulty socializing with children their own age.
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The ability to socialize and communicate begins in infancy and develops as children move through developmental pathways. Although autism exhibits different behaviors, what sets it apart from ADHD and other developmental disorders is the difference in social development. Autism is diagnosed by looking for social delays along with communication differences and behavioral signs.
Social challenges: Children with autism lag behind their peers in social skills. Social and behavioral symptoms can appear from six months. However, most doctors do not attempt a diagnosis until the child is at least 18 months old. Before the age of two, behavior can change – some appear and some disappear. For example, some children are delayed in their language skills, but when they appear, they quickly catch up with their peers. It can also be confusing because some autistic children seem to develop within normal limits, such as saying their first word at around 12-15 months and then suddenly going back, and after around 18 months to two years, they lose these skills and do it does not speak.
By one year, most children respond to their own name, engage in back-and-forth communication, and understand sign language such as pointing and waving. The ability to interpret facial expressions, understand humor, and show self-compassion occurs during normal development, as does the desire to share interests, play with others, and seek comfort when upset. The first symptoms of autism are:
Communication difficulties: Most autistic children have early language delays and speak later than their peers. A few do not speak at all. Others develop a large vocabulary and the ability to construct sentences, but may be challenged by the non-verbal aspects of communication. Their speech may sound wordy, repetitive or awkward. They may have trouble reading facial expressions, understanding tone and humor, and starting or following a conversation. Early symptoms include:
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Behavioral problems: Autism can also manifest itself in other behaviors, including repetitive physical movements, special interests, or overly rigid thinking. Many autistic people also have sensory issues. However, behavioral symptoms alone are not sufficient for diagnosis. The child should also show social and communication differences. Some early symptoms include:
ADHD symptoms affect social interactions, cause differences in communication and can lead to behavioral difficulties. The best one-line description of ADHD comes from Dr. Russell Barclay who said, “ADHD is not a disorder of not knowing what to do, it is a disorder of not doing what you know.” This concept also helps distinguish ADHD from autism: children with ADHD usually know “social rules”. They just don’t know how to follow them.
Social challenges: Children with ADHD usually know what to do socially, but still can’t demonstrate it in everyday life. Being distracted, impulsive, and off-task affects communication. Children with ADHD miss social cues that they would otherwise pick up on – if only they noticed them.
Communication challenges: An often overlooked aspect of ADHD is the relatively high risk of language delays. However, even in the absence of actual delay, ADHD impairs communication. Children lose track of details, are too talkative, interrupt, go off topic and have difficulty following information. They may speak and process information more slowly than their peers, which is not a measure of intelligence. Unlike children with autism, children with ADHD usually understand the pragmatic part of language, but ADHD itself prevents this.
Teaching Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Willis, Clarissa: 9780876590089: Amazon.com: Books
Behavioral problems: Behavioral problems often, but not always, occur with ADHD. They include not following social norms such as acting impulsively, being too silly, or otherwise disrupting the situation. Short attention spans are disruptive when peers prefer to stick to one activity. Chronic planning and organizing executive function challenges that occur with ADHD are unrelated to autism. If a child with autism struggles with attention or executive function, ADHD may also be present.
A key feature that distinguishes ADHD from autism is the ability to understand the social world intuitively. Delays and differences in these skills are common to all autism diagnoses, regardless of how they are presented. Children with ADHD alone may also struggle socially, but their intuitive understanding is there.
In many situations, the difference between autism and ADHD is not black and white. As challenging as it is for a professional to know if ADHD, autism or both is present, it is even more important for a child to receive the right intervention. Often, creating a plan helps determine whether a diagnosis is appropriate. Most social interventions and interactions benefit children, whether they have ADHD or autism.
Ask your child’s school to assess their development, including practical language skills, play and self-help skills. Or look for a private, comprehensive evaluation outside of your school district. Comorbidity often occurs with ADHD and autism, so screening for these disorders is essential.
Therapies For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Interventions that reduce ADHD symptoms usually improve the social skills that hinder it. Comprehensive care for ADHD may include individual or parent-based behavioral therapy, social skills groups, medication, and other evidence-based treatments. (As a side note, dishonest behavior without remorse does not always mean that a child lacks empathy. Children with ADHD are often emotionally overwhelmed and immature and may not know how to express remorse when they do something wrong. speak up.)
In autism, the basis of intervention is behavioral therapy. One of the main tools is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which uses antecedent-behavior-consequence (ABC) theory to improve behavior. Simply put, this can be explained as: a) you make a request, b) your child obeys, and c) you reward the requested action. When you repeat this approach, you increase positive behaviors and decrease potentially challenging behaviors.
Depending on the need, children with autism may receive intensive behavioral services in a self-contained classroom, or they may attend mainstream classes. However, all children with autism can benefit from ongoing behavioral therapy, which is one of the best predictors of outcome. Think about it: If you want your child to be a concert pianist or a professional athlete, they need to practice every day. The same applies to social skills. As skills are strengthened and developed, treatments should not be as intensive, but interventions should continue until skills become fluent.
If a child is autistic, they have communication problems. However, measuring the realism of languages with tests is challenging. Therefore, a child with autism will benefit from language services regardless of testing. With ADHD, consider possible language delays and intervene as needed.
What To Look For In Child Care For Autistic Children
If progress is slow, it may be helpful to look for co-morbid conditions such as frequent co-occurrence of autism and ADHD. When children have impaired social and language skills, adding ADHD to the mix makes it much more difficult for them to succeed. Addressing ADHD allows a child to focus, act less impulsively, access skills developed through intervention, and improve social skills.
Schools try to place children in regular classes if possible. Some kids prefer it, but others thrive in a more supportive environment. Keeping up with the demands of mainstream and typically developing peers can be stressful. Content courses also allow for more intensive social work, which can facilitate integration.
Language and practical delays often affect the skills needed in school. Reading comprehension, reasoning and writing are all affected by ADHD or autism. Homework and in-class assignments often need support or correction.
While social programs often focus on the classroom, unstructured time (such as recess or gym) is often challenging for children with autism and ADHD. In class, the rules are usually “sit still and raise your hand.” On the playground, social etiquette is more fluid and understandable, especially for children with autism. According to the Autistic Society, children with autism are 63 percent more likely to be bullied than children with neurodevelopmental disorders. According to StopBullying.gov, children with ADHD are more likely to be bullied and somewhat more likely to bully others. Bullying children and children who bully others can have serious and ongoing problems and are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
Autistic Children Preparing For Puberty
ADHD and autism stress parents and strain marriages, especially when there are young children with ADHD in the family. Parents of children under the age of eight with ADHD are twice as likely to divorce than parents of children without ADHD. The good news is that this
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