It can be devastating to learn your child has non-verbal autism, a condition in which they do not learn how to speak or speak properly. By some estimates, about half of the children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder have non-verbal autism. That doesn’t mean your child will never function or be productive. It just means you need more tools to make that possible. That’s where Camp Worth in Fort Worth, Texas, can help. Our compassionate team has years of experience helping children with non-verbal autism.
What Are Symptoms of Non-Verbal Autism?
Many children with autism struggle with speaking. They may not speak clearly, or they may have some level of interference when speaking. However, a child with non-verbal autism does not speak at all. The lack of speaking is the main sign of this condition. Other symptoms of non-verbal autism include:
- Lack of ability to socialize with others, including withdrawing from others
- Behavioral symptoms including irritability or aggression when their routine is changed
- Developmental delays often evident between the ages two and four
Parents should look for early warning signs of the development of non-verbal autism to seek out help sooner. For example, if children do not respond to their name by the age of one or they are not babbling or laughing with parents by that time, it may be an indication that there may be delays. Children at the age of eighteen months should be pretending. At fourteen months, they should be pointing to objects that interest them.
Children should be able to repeat words or phrases repeatedly by the age of eighteen months to two years. Some children also flap their hands or rock their bodies as a soothing mechanism.
Some children with non-verbal autism still understand simple phrases. They simply do not speak.
What Causes Non-Verbal Autism?
Researchers do not fully understand this type of autism. It is believed that various factors may contribute to the onset of non-verbal autism, such as:
- Prenatal age – Children born to older parents are at a higher risk of developing autism.
- Family history – There is a higher likelihood of developing this condition if an immediate family member also has non-verbal autism.
- Genetic mutations – Studies indicate some genetic mutations and disorders may contribute to the development of non-verbal autism.
- Premature birth – Children who have a low birth weight or born with other health complications are at a higher risk of lacking speech skills.
- Prenatal exposure – There is some evidence that environmental toxin exposure during pregnancy, including heavy metals, may contribute to the development of this condition.
How Can You Help Your Child with Non-Verbal Autism?
Autism treatment programs can be significantly beneficial. The main goal of programs at Discover Camp Worth is to improve the children’s ability to function as they should. An additional goal is to help children work as hard as possible to develop communication skills, in some cases with speech therapy.
Educational interventions may be one way to accomplish this goal. These are intensive sessions of learning skills with a therapist. Some children also benefit from medications that can aid in minimizing the risk of anxiety and depression. ADHD medications are sometimes necessary as well.
The other large component of autism treatment programs is to provide families with tools, resources, and support. It is possible to create a better relationship with your child, even if they cannot speak to you effectively.
Invest in Your Child’s Future Now at Discover Camp Worth
There’s never been a better time to get help than right now. Our dedicated professionals can offer help for non-verbal autism while also providing parents with tools to help their child to thrive. To learn more about our autism treatment programs, call Camp Worth at 855.915.2545 or connect with us online.