Autism spectrum conditions are very rare in children and teens, but it is still important to look out for signs that could indicate the condition.
The “teenage autism test” is a way to properly diagnose autism in teenagers. This article will provide tips on how to properly diagnose the condition and what signs should be looked for.
Your youngster is always changing and developing. They’re happy little folks one day and can’t wait to tell you about their days the next. The next moment, they’re glum creatures that refuse to establish eye contact or converse with you. Are you seeing indicators of autism in your teen?
The majority of autism cases are discovered in childhood. The illness cannot be acquired later in life. Mild autistic symptoms, on the other hand, are often disregarded when individuals are young, and they might be especially concerning throughout puberty.
A diagnosis of autism in an adolescent may be liberating. Some individuals value the increased knowledge that comes with a diagnosis and treatment. Make sure you’re ready to help your youngster through this.
Autism is a condition that develops early in life.
There’s a lot about autism that researchers don’t know. How much of the blame is borne by genes? What percentage of your income comes from the environment? The research is still going on, and we’re all hoping for quick results. Autism symptoms, according to experts, arise from difficulties that develop well before puberty.
According to an autism specialist, autism-related issues are caused by a combination of genetic abnormalities and environmental factors. To a certain extent, the brain can compensate. Symptoms arise or become more pronounced when the brain can no longer overcome the deficits.
This perspective is supported by research. Researchers discovered brain scan variations in very little children that indicated an autism diagnosis in a 2017 study. The youngsters were diagnosed with autism after the scans revealed these anomalies. The youngsters did not have autism when the scans were clean.
Autism is thought to develop early in life, according to studies like these, although most parents don’t detect signs until their children are older. Autism signs in children are based on communication and behavior, yet newborns seldom talk or act on their own. Parents may see the following as their kid grows:
- Eye contact is a challenge.
- Only a few words were exchanged.
- Body language, such as pointing, elicits low reactions.
Most children with autism aren’t identified until beyond the age of three, according to experts, despite the fact that their parents may notice symptoms much earlier.
Some teenagers go unnoticed.
If autism does not develop throughout puberty, how can kids become diagnosed so late in life? Researchers are working hard to find an answer to that issue, and there is a lot on the line.
We know that early treatments, such as suitable therapy, may help persons with autism live a healthy and happy life. The earlier we find out, the better. However, other situations are just overlooked.
According to research, instances are overlooked as a result of:
- Parental anxiety. Many parents do not believe there is a problem. When parents are concerned about their children and demand answers from medical personnel, their children get diagnoses sooner than children whose parents do not make a fuss.
- The intensity of the symptoms. Children with difficult-to-ignore autistic symptoms are simpler to diagnose than those with mild or moderate symptoms.
When all of this evidence is considered, it seems that certain children may have autistic symptoms that go unnoticed throughout their early years. If this occurs, individuals may find themselves in one of life’s most trying situations without the support they need to flourish.
Autism Symptoms in Adolescents
Autism is a lifelong condition for your kid. If the disease is evident at birth, it is likely to remain throughout your kid’s life, however symptoms may vary and develop as your child grows. The indicators that parents look for in their newborns are not the same as the ones that you would observe in an adolescent.
The following are some of the symptoms of autism in teenagers:
- Verbal communication is important. Your youngster may find it difficult to take turns in a conversation, use sarcasm, or speak in a normal tone of voice.
- Nonverbal communication is when you communicate without saying anything. It’s possible that your youngster may avoid making eye contact. It might be difficult to understand how individuals feel just by looking at them.
- Relationships. Your youngster may have a small number of genuine pals, if any at all. It’s possible that your youngster prefers to be alone or with smaller children.
- Repetitive actions. Your youngster may have an odd attachment to something, such as collecting certain items or data. Consistent routines may also make your youngster feel more at ease.
- Input from the senses Bright light or loud sounds may be a problem for your youngster.
Your teen’s classmates, such as siblings, relatives, and acquaintances, may notice some uncommon characteristics in your youngster. It’s possible that they’ll inform you that your child:
- It seems to be impolite. They may be upset because your youngster tells them they stink or have a lousy haircut. Your youngster may seem oblivious to the fact that his or her statements are hurtful.
- Lacks self-defense abilities. Bullying is common among teenagers with autism, but your kid may not try to stop it.
- Change is difficult for him. Class interruptions or schedule changes may cause your youngster to become abnormally agitated.
Pay close attention to these remarks and follow up with a talk with your child’s instructor. Are experts who spend all day with your kid aware of the same issues?
How Is Autism Diagnosed in Children and Adolescents?
Although researchers claim that brain scans may detect autism, clinicians do not give these tests to their patients. Instead, they rely on interviews and observations to figure out if a child’s symptoms are due to autism.
Your child’s pediatrician will benefit from the interviews you performed with friends and teachers. Doctors may ask teachers and classmates to complete formal behavior surveys so they may have a more complete picture of how the kid acts throughout the day.
If your child’s doctor detects a problem, he or she will recommend you to a specialist. Your kid will do the following during a series of appointments:
- Talk. The doctor will inquire about their thoughts, feelings, and actions.
- Test. To better understand how your child’s mind functions, the doctor may employ self-assessment quizzes.
- Screen. Other tests may be recommended by the expert to rule out an underlying health issue that might be causing autistic symptoms.
It takes time for doctors to make an autism diagnosis. Professionals often need many visits to rule out underlying issues. However, for some teenagers, the wait is well worth it.
Teenagers with autism have expressed a sense of liberation as a result of their diagnosis in research. They have a better grasp of why they act the way they do, and as a result, they have a greater feeling of self-worth. They don’t feel odd or unique; instead, they feel powerful.
Of course, some teens do not feel this way. A diagnosis of autism may be unpleasant or even frightening. It’s critical for parents to communicate with their children during this process. It’s also crucial to start counseling as soon as feasible.
How Is Autism Treated in Adolescents?
Therapists are skilled in assisting patients in processing intense emotions. Teens who are unhappy or concerned about an autism diagnosis may find it helpful to speak to a specialist about their concerns. They may feel more confident and competent after these sessions.
Treatment does more than just make patients feel better about their condition. According to studies, those diagnosed with autism often deal with:
- Relationships between peers.
- Conversational abilities.
- Unusual language.
Any or all of these characteristics might be used as a therapeutic target. The goal of applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment is to assist persons with autism in identifying and correcting particular behaviors.
A adolescent with a high, strangled voice should try to speak at a more normal tone. A therapist may pinpoint that pitch and organize several practice sessions to assist the adolescent in mastering it. After then, the two may go on to forming acquaintances or dealing with conversational exchanges.
These workouts aren’t meant to be punishing. They’re designed to provide teenagers with autism with practical, real-world skills that they may use in their daily lives. The sessions will undoubtedly be beneficial, and your adolescent may even like them.
Is Autism a Congenital Condition or Does It Develop Over Time? (Updated October 2013). Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about
Autism Starts Months Before Symptoms Show Up, According to a New Study (February 2017). Scientific American is a publication dedicated to science.
When Do Children With Autism Usually Show Symptoms? (2017, January). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a federal agency that researches
A Critical Review of Age Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis (June 2013). Autism.
United States, 2009-2010. Age at Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnosis by Race, Ethnicity, and Primary Household Language Among Children With Special Health Care Needs. (Updated February 2015). Journal of Maternal and Child Health
Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms in Older Children and Adolescents The Raising Children Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping parents raise
Teens with Autism Growing Up Together The Autism Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping
Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis as Biographical Illumination: “I’m a Normal Autistic Person, Not an Abnormal Neurotypical” (January of this year). Medicine and social science.
The Age of Autism Identification and the Frequency and Pattern of Documented Diagnostic Features (In April of 2013). The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s journal.
The “high functioning autism in teens” is a type of autism that can be difficult to diagnose. However, there are signs to look for and some actions you should take if you suspect your child has this condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you tell if a teenager has autism?
A: There is no clear cut way. However, there are a few signs that can be looked into before making a conclusion like this. These include extreme sensory sensitivity or oversensitivity, repetitive behaviors and interests, difficulty in social situations (making eye contact with others when talking), intense focus on topics of interest to the individual
Can a 15 year old be diagnosed with autism?
A: Typically a child can be diagnosed with autism when they are around the age of three. However, there is no set age in which children develop symptoms of autism so it varies from individual to individual.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.