Every year, thousands of children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the most common and defining characteristics of ASD is repetitive behaviors. Repetitive behaviors include any behavior that is repeated over and over again, such as hand-flapping, rocking, or making repetitive noises. It’s important to note that repetitive behaviors in autism can vary in severity from person to person.
The diagnosis process for autism spectrum disorder treatment includes comprehensive assessments that can be conducted by a clinical team. This team may consist of pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, and other specialists to look for signs and symptoms of autism. The team may also use various tests and questionnaires to assess a person’s behavior, development, language skills, social skills, and other factors. With the help of this team, an individual’s repetitive behaviors can be accurately identified and monitored.
Camp Worth in Fort Worth, Texas offers comprehensive treatment programs for girls and boys aged 11-17. Call 855.915.2545 for more information or to begin the enrollment process.
What Are Common Repetitive Behaviors in Autism?
Every child is different and will not necessarily have the same behavioral or developmental challenges. However, repetitive behaviors are often a common indicator of ASD and usually include the following:
- Repetitively moving the hands, arms, legs, or body
- Making repetitive noises
- Repeating words or phrases over and over
- Hand flapping or finger flicking
- Rocking back and forth
- Unusual repetitive play activities
- Focusing intensely on certain objects
These behaviors can be repetitive, rhythmic, and/or stereotyped in nature. Although repetitive behavior is a key symptom of autism, it is important to note that repetitive behaviors can also be associated with other neurological conditions. If you have any questions or concerns about repetitive behaviors in autism, reach out to Camp Worth in Fort Worth, Texas at 855.915.2545.
How to Diagnose Autism
As there is no laboratory test, similar to a blood test, for diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), physicians must look at the patient’s developmental history and behavior to make an accurate diagnosis. ASD may be detected as early as 18 months of age, and a reliable diagnosis by an expert can typically be achieved at the age of 2. However, some individuals don’t receive their final diagnoses until much later in life. In fact, many people are not properly diagnosed with ASD until they reach adolescence or adulthood – thus missing out on the crucial help available during those formative years.
Diagnosing children with ASD as early as possible is vital to ensure they receive the services and support they need to reach their full potential. There are several steps in this process.
As your child matures, developmental monitoring allows you to track their progress and validate that they are meeting the expected milestones for playing, learning, speaking, behaving, and moving at each stage of their growth.
It is essential to perform developmental screening for all children, especially during regular well-child visits. It is more structured than developmental monitoring, and The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends conducting these screenings at the following stages:
- 9 months
- 18 months
- 30 months
In addition, the AAP recommends that all children be screened specifically for ASD during regular pediatric visits at 18 and 24 months.
This formal evaluation is a more in-depth look at a child’s development. It is usually performed by a trained specialist such as a developmental pediatrician, child psychologist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or other specialists. The developmental specialist may observe the child, give the child a structured test, ask the parents or caregivers questions, or ask them to complete questionnaires. The evaluation results highlight your child’s strengths and challenges and can inform whether they meet the criteria for a developmental diagnosis.
ASD has evolved to encompass a range of diagnoses that were once viewed separately: autistic disorder, PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified), and Asperger syndrome. Your doctor can help you understand and navigate the diagnostic process.
Contact Camp Worth Today
If you suspect your child is developmentally challenged, a professional diagnostic evaluation for ASD is recommended. Many communities and schools have resources to help your child if they are diagnosed with ASD. In the Fort Worth, Texas area, we provide full-service programs at the Camp Worth adolescent autism spectrum disorder treatment center. Call 855.915.2545 or contact us online to learn more.