Autism

Signs Your Child May Have Autism

Are you worried that your toddler or preschooler may have Autism? Has your child’s preschool/kindergarten teacher expressed concerns about behaviour or social skills? Has your child’s Speech-Language Pathologist suggested an assessment? Below are some warning signs of a possible risk for autism. Red flags in toddlers: By 6 months: • No regular big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions By 9 months: • No regular back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions By 12 months: • Lack of responding to name consistently when called • No regular back-and-forth gestures such as pointing (with index finger), showing, waving or reaching By 16 months: •  No spoken words beyond “mama” or “dada” By 24 months: • No meaningful 2 word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating Red flags in pre-schoolsers: • Delays in language or speech skills •  Intense temper tantrum • Any odd repetitive movement patterns such as flapping arms/hand, pacing, walking on tip toes, jumping on the spot, rocking, twirling • Avoids eye contact • Difficulty adapting to changes in schedule or environment • Preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest - often involving numbers or symbols (e.g. memorizing or reciting information about shapes, letters, maps, train schedules, sports statistics) • Obsessively lines up toys or small objects • Spends long periods watching moving objects such as a...

Autism meets Siri – and the result will make you smile.
Autism meets Siri – and the result will make you smile.

If you didn't love Siri before you may just fall for her now. Siri, for those of you who don't own know, is the helpful built-in artificial intelligence that comes as part of the Apple OS on iPhones and iPad everywhere. She speaks 9 languages (so far) and is called upon often by people like me to find out about the weather, to check when I have to be at the dentist and to locate the nearest Starbucks is. But I have to admit - after reading this article from the New York Times - I may be greatly underestimating Siri's power. Dr. Almagor asked me to post a link to this article in advance of an article we are working on reviewing the apps that available to help in the treatment and education of kids with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. It's the story about when Autism meets Siri, and how technology is encouraging a 13-year old boy to connect in ways his mother never dreamed of...