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Doctor insights on: Stay Play And Talk Strategies For Autistic Children

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
623 doctors shared insights

Autism (Definition)

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting three areas: abnormal socialization, communication, and restricted interests with repetitive patterns of behavior. It is usually detected in the first two years of life. Cause is unknown but strong evidence points to an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Patients with autism may display significant delays in certain developmental areas while having normal or superior strengths in other developmental or learning domains. The severity of the disorder is highly variable ...Read more


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How long does it normally take for autistic children to begin talking?

How long does it normally take for autistic children to begin talking?

Highly variable: Some children are only minimally delayed, others never learn to talk. Autism is a highly variable disease. ...Read more

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Why do people keep talking about children suffering autism spectrum disorders? What about all the other kids?

Good point: Kids with autism have "spikes" in development, leading us to feel that if we could "unlock" the child's brain, he might function independently as an adult, whereas kids with other genetic & medical neurodevelopmental disorders tend to have less dramatic splits in their cognitive abilities. Also, many genetic & epigenetic causes are known, but no single known "trigger" that precipitates symptoms. ...Read more

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My son is 16 years old and is autistic. He has started staring blankly, staggering, stopped talking. Been examined at childrens hos. All tests neg.

My son is 16 years old and is autistic. He has started staring blankly, staggering, stopped talking.  Been examined at childrens hos. All tests neg.

Alarming!: You failed to mention if there'd been any change in your son's medications, any recent head injury or possible toxic exposure... These are signs of a neurologic decline and getting him in front of a neurologist... Or getting several opinions, is certainly warranted! mri's and eeg's don't always tell the whole story... You need a doctor/doctors that will keep looking for some way to explain this... ...Read more

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Is it true all autistic children do not make eye when you are speaking to them?

Is it true all autistic children do not make eye when you are speaking to them?

Not necessarily: Autistic children have problems with social interaction and understanding of usual social skills. They often stare at people and objects almost too much, but may not look when being talked to or when trying to talk. Part of behavioral therapy is to help them understand how to use looking and attention in a more appropriate manner. ...Read more

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Why don't autistic kids pretend play?

Why don't autistic kids pretend play?

Good question: Typical 1-year-olds feed a doll with a bottle, representing an act from the environment. Even at 3-4 years, kids with autism put the tip of the bottle in any indentation on the doll's body, sensorimotor play. Despite overdeveloped rote memory, they can't "get" concepts- things you can't see or touch-because of their concrete thinking. That's why therapy has to be intensive & repetitive to work. ...Read more

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If my toddler won't potty train or talk, could he have autism?

Depends on age: Children vary a lot in when they develop these skills. Many toddlers don't do either for a long time. If the child is emotionally relating to you it probably is not autism but you should review his or her development with you pediatrician if you are worried. ...Read more

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My 20 year old autistic daughter does lot of self talking. Any suggestions to stop it?

Why stop it?: This is her way of expressing herself. I would not want to stop her talking. ...Read more

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MY son 6 years old he is autism, he have an bad habit in which he always hold or play with his penis and he sweat while doing this, is it normal?

MY son 6 years old he is autism, he have an bad habit in which he always hold or play with his penis and he sweat while doing this, is it normal?

Normal behavior: For a 6-year-old. Just tell him not to do so in company & it is OK when he is the privacy of his own room. Same advice for boys of any age. ...Read more

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3 years old son not talking yet only 15 single words not autistic understands everything and nothing wrong with his physical activities so inteligent?

Confusing statement: A 3 yo who only uses 15 single words is showing a delay in speech and language development. This can occur apart from other syndromes like autism. The receptive or understood words tend to progress much faster than spoken words. An evaluation by a speech and language professional is indicated so a plan of therapy can begin. This has been routine in the US for at least 4 decades. ...Read more