Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability. The range of symptoms varies amongst individuals with Autism, so these varieties are referred to as a spectrum. As Autism is a Spectrum Disorder, it can present differently for each child – so they may have different symptoms, and face differing challenges.
How Many People Have Autism?
For every 59 children born in the United States in 2018, one has Autism, back in 2004, that rate was one every 125. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with Autism than girls. Worldwide it is estimated 1% of people have Autism, and in the United States, there are over 3.5 million people with Autism.
How Old Are Children When They Are Diagnosed?
Autism can be diagnosed in children as young as two years old. However, it is not uncommon to not diagnose a child until they are older than 4. Most parents would have noticed a developmental issue with their child before their first birthday, and some parents note concern with motor skills around the age of six months.
How is Autism Diagnosed?
It’s challenging to make a diagnosis when there is no specific test, such as a blood test, which can be utilized. Doctors have to examine a child and note their behavior and developmental progress to make a diagnosis. Diagnosing someone with Autism is taken in two steps:
- Developmental screening, which is a test of basic learning skills, and
- Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation, which is a much more extensive range of medical testing.
Doctors may refer to several specialists for further assessment and to help make a diagnosis.
What Are The Early Signs Of Autism?
- Being slow to start speaking, or not speaking
- Repeating words, and mannerisms such as hand flapping
- Not wanting to make eye contact
- No real interest in peer relationships
- Lack of spontaneous play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
What Are The Causes of Autism?
The exact cause is still not known. It is generally accepted that abnormalities in brain structure or function are caused by Autism. Scans of brains show differences in the shape and structure of brains in children with Autism compared to those in neurotypical children.
Researchers are currently investigating possible links to heredity, genetics, and medical problems. Some harmful substances which were taken during pregnancy also have been associated with an increased risk of Autism.
The Autism Society Recommends These Tips:
- Practice healthy food choices.
- Include moderate activity in your routine.
- Develop a healthy sleeping habit, schedule a nap in your day if you can.
- Be your advocate, communicate with your family or doctor how you’re feeling.
How Can Parents Help Their Autistic Children?
Parents can help their Autistic children thrive by providing some structure to their day. Here are some of the common techniques which parents can use:
- Create a safe zone in the home
- Watch out for all clues, some of these may be non-verbal
- Keep to a regular schedule
- Try and always act with consistency
- Look beyond the tantrum to find the underlying reason
- Pay attention to their sensory needs
- Don’t forget to have some fun with them
What Are The Treatment Options for Autism?
There is a wide range of interventions from modeling, extinction, facilitated communication, and exercise. There are also related approaches, such as using Art, Music, or Animals, in therapy. For more details on these options, please check out the Autism Society’s website.
Can The Bellabee Help With Autism?
Wearing a Bellabee can help calm down someone with Autism. It can be worn for up to an hour, twice a day, using the Autism setting. It’s best to use it while sitting down, so for instance, while playing quietly, drawing, watching TV, or reading. Bellabee is a drug-free treatment option for someone with Autism.
How Does Bellabee Work?
The Bellabee is sending brain waves that are more akin to how neurotypical people’s brains behave, and so the brain starts to mimic that behavior, and in time, does not need the Bellabee to behave that way. It’s teaching the brain to use the pathways that it should be using, by wearing a headband on your head, connected to an app on your phone.
Is There An Age Limit To Wearing The Bellabee?
Bellabee does not recommend using the Bellabee on people under the age of 18. However, one mother reported her twelve-year-old daughter was so much calmer after wearing her Bellabee. It can help calm her down from a meltdown, and she is happy to wear it for up to an hour at a time.