Sunday Conversations

Sunday Conversations

By Leslie Hudgins


On this week’s episode of The Sunday Conversion, hosted by Catosha and Gerald Riley, special guest Dr. Angela Sims, a Developmental Child Psychologist at the Pastoral Institute, discusses aspects to consider when observing potential symptoms of autism.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, that manifests in various ways, which often causes it to be challenging for parents to recognize its signs in their children.

According to Dr. Sims, one of the primary indicators is the absence of typical developmental milestones, such as limited speech or lack of eye contact, particularly during crucial developmental stages like ages two and three. Repetitive behaviors, sensory processing issues, and severe meltdowns may also signal autism, though Dr. Sims stresses that a single symptom alone does not necessarily confirm the diagnosis.

Parents should not rush to conclusions based solely on observed behaviors. Instead, Dr. Sims advises seeking professional evaluation from a licensed child psychologist if concerns arise. Pediatricians can facilitate initial screenings, guide families through the diagnostic process, and recommend further evaluation if necessary.

Autism exists on a spectrum, ranging from mild (Level 1) to severe (Level 3). Level 1, formerly known as Asperger’s disorder, presents with milder symptoms, while Level 3 often involves significant challenges in motor skills and self-injurious behaviors by age five.

Early detection is pivotal in initiating appropriate therapies that can significantly improve developmental outcomes. Dr. Sims stresses the importance of precise diagnostic procedures, ongoing family support, and promoting broader societal understanding and acceptance of autism.

By understanding the signs of autism and seeking timely intervention, parents can positively impact their child’s developmental journey, fostering a supportive environment conducive to their overall well-being and growth. Together, let’s work towards greater awareness and acceptance, ensuring every individual with autism receives the care and support they deserve.


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