Early signs of autism?

Question:I am a daycare teacher and i think a child in my classroom may have autism. The child is 2 1/2 and constantly bites and scratches also only speaks when asked to repeat words, noticed several other red flags. Parents do not seem to belive there is a problem. what should i do? where can i find more information on disabilties for very young children?

Unless the parents agree, you can not have any formal evaluations done by the school system. I faced similar situations as a preschool teacher and this is the plan that seemed to work the best.

First, speak to the program director. Ask her to come and observe in your group a few times to get her impressions and feedback. Explain your concerns and what "red flags" you see so she will know what she should be looking for.

Keep a log of all the negative and worrisome behaviors. Be sure to date and note the time of each entry and the duration of the behaviors.

After the obeservations and a some time for fact gathering, arrange to have the parents in. First, have them observe the class (if possible, in a way or setting where thier child is unaware of their presence). Many parents do not feel the things they see thier child do may be off if they have not seen them in a setting with other kids (especially true if this child in an only or a first). Have the director present. After they have had a chance to watch the class, sit down with them, the director and your log. Present your information directly, simply and without placing blame or making the parents feel foolish for "not having seen it" before. Have information with you to give them on contacting the school district's Child Find office about having the child evaluated at no cost. I would refrain from saying you think there is a specific issue such as autism, as this may panic the parents and you are not qualified to make that statement. Encourage them to contact the schools and do the evalauation. You can not force them to do so of course, but by giving them clear information about your concerns along with how they can address them you stand a better chance at getting the child some help.
The three key features of autism include:
1) Poor reciprocal social interaction
2) Poor communication skills
3) Restricted, repetitive, stereotyped patterns of behavior or interests.

1) By law, the nearest elementary school must send a team over to evaluate the child for Autism. Request that, if the parents approve.
2) Otherwise, Google: Families for Early Autism Treatment & get info. to give the parents.
I am happy to hear daycare teachers are doing there job by looking for any health or developmental difficulties in their children..who would know better than you who is around them all day! Here are some links to good informational websites...unfortunately, I don't know that much about autism but looks at one of these sites to donate for the cause! Keep up the great work!! Remember, knowledge is power.

wikipedia...does he line stuff in a straight line?
Unfortunately, you can't do anything without the parents' consent. However, you can check some websites on-line, including Unlocking Autism, Autism Speaks, and the Autism Society of America. But since you are a daycare teacher, I'd like to warn you not to get the parents against you. Be very careful if you keep insisting, especially since the child is only 2 1/2. You may make enemies of them, even though you are in the right.
Biting and scratching are not signs that I personally have ever heard of. Key red flags are poor social interaction, poor eye contact, repetitive behaviors (ie. handflapping, toe walking, are very common), fixated interest in a few certain things (ie. spinning toys, trains, animals are common).

My best advice would to be bring it to the attention of your immediate supervisor. This will help avoid hard feelings between the parents and yourself. If you work in a school system, bring it to the attention of the school's social worker.

Best wishes!
I'm guessing that the parents just don't want to believe there's a problem. This is such a very hard thing to accept. There is no way that they haven't noticed the signs, they are in some level of denial. Find a concise document online that lists the red flags of autism and give it to them.

Whether the child has autism or not, early speech & behavior intervention are key to progress.

I'm happy to hear that you care about the kids in your class so much. I wish there were more teachers who did. Good luck!
get books from the libary when my friend told my son might have it my husband and i read around 50 books before gooing to the docter so that we were armed with info so we could get him the help he needed. Autism is something that takes alot to get diagnosed but when done there is lots of help
Every person with autism is an individual, and like all individuals, has a unique personality and combination of characteristics. Some individuals mildly affected may exhibit only slight delays in language and greater challenges with social interactions. They may have difficulty initiating and/or maintaining a conversation. Their communication is often described as talking at others instead of to them. (For example, monologue on a favorite subject that continues despite attempts by others to interject comments).

People with autism also process and respond to information in unique ways. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present. Persons with autism may also exhibit some of the following traits:

*Insistence on sameness; resistance to change

*Difficulty in expressing needs, using gestures or pointing instead of words

*Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language

*Laughing (and/or crying) for no apparent reason showing distress for reasons not apparent to others

*Preference to being alone; aloof manner


*Difficulty in mixing with others

*Not wanting to cuddle or be cuddled

*Little or no eye contact

*Unresponsive to normal teaching methods

*Sustained odd play

*Spinning objects

*Obsessive attachment to objects

*Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain

*No real fears of danger

*Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity

*Uneven gross/fine motor skills

*Non responsive to verbal cues; acts as if deaf, although hearing tests in normal range.

For most of us, the integration of our senses helps us to understand what we are experiencing. For example, our sense of touch, smell and taste work together in the experience of eating a ripe peach: the feel of the peach's skin, its sweet smell, and the juices running down your face. For children with autism, sensory integration problems are common, which may throw their senses off they may be over or under active. The fuzz on the peach may actually be experienced as painful and the smell may make the child gag. Some children with autism are particularly sensitive to sound, finding even the most ordinary daily noises painful. Many professionals feel that some of the typical autism behaviors, like the ones listed above, are actually a result of sensory integration difficulties.

There are also many myths and misconceptions about autism. Contrary to popular belief, many autistic children do make eye contact; it just may be less often or different from a non-autistic child. Many children with autism can develop good functional language and others can develop some type of communication skills, such as sign language or use of pictures. Children do not "outgrow" autism but symptoms may lessen as the child develops and receives treatment.

One of the most devastating myths about autistic children is that they cannot show affection. While sensory stimulation is processed differently in some children, they can and do give affection. However, it may require patience on the parents' part to accept and give love in the child's terms.

A great sight about Autism and other Prevasive Developmental Disorders is the Autism Society. They have very useful information from Characteristics, Diganosis/Consultation, Treatments, Education, etc. It really helped me out before my son was diagnosed with Autism.

It's very important for the child to be evaulated for Autism. The earlier he is diagnosed with it, the more likely he will end up living a normal life when he gets older. The longer hey wait, the more severe it could become. It's will by no means be easy for the parents, it's something that a parent never wants to hear about their own child. They will probably go through denial and maybe even take turns blaming each other as why he has it. But they need to set that aside because the most imporatant thing here is the child..getting him the help he needs asap.

There are several support groups online and off that can help the parents. Some of their local universities may have centers to help such as in Fl they have Center for Autism and other Related Disabilities(CARD) which provide training courses and teach techniques to help childern with autism and to help the parents. They will go to the childs home to help parents/siblings and to their school to help the teachers and classmates as well. Which is all provided for free, but the child must be diagnosed first. Looking into a local Autism Society Chapter would be great as well. It's a great place to get support/advice from parents that are going through the same thing. They can also give great advice about techniques that helped their child, therapists in the area, etc.. It will be also great for the child as he gets older to be around kids who are experiencing the same thing he is. They offer activities for the whole family, even activities for siblings that are not affected by autism. Good Luck =)

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