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Autism, ADHD and dyslexia

Some symptoms of learning and behavior disorders appear when a child is a toddler. At other times, conditions become more clear when a child starts school, and even later. Below are common conditions we diagnose and treat. We also perform research to discover and improve treatments for a variety of disorders.

Autism: signs and symptoms in children

Many children with no disorders of any kind have one or more of the symptoms below. This list is simply a guide. Use it as a starting point to talk with your child’s pediatrician.

A child with autism might:

  • Have normal hearing tests, but behave like he or she is deaf
  • Not begin to talk until late, or does not talk at all
  • Repeat certain activities or actions, such as rocking back and forth
  • Become attached to toys or other objects to an unusual degree
  • Get very upset when you change routines
  • Prefer to play alone most or all of the time
  • Have other medical conditions, such as asthma, feeding and sleeping disorders, and problems digesting food

When they are teenagers, children with autism are sometimes depressed. They might develop epilepsy.
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Dyslexia: Signs and symptoms

Children with dyslexia do not easily learn to read, write, and spell. This is often because they cannot easily remember words they hear or read. Some of the symptoms are very common in children before age 7. Some children have mild dyslexia. Others have more severe dyslexia.

Preschoolers with dyslexia might:

  • Begin speaking later than other children
  • Not learn to say new words easily
  • Have trouble rhyming words
  • Not be able to follow directions that require several steps

School-age children with dyslexia might:

  • Have trouble understanding that certain letters represent certain sounds
  • Confuse short words, such as “it” and “at”
  • Writing words or letters backward

Our specialists can help you develop goals and methods to help your child to learn more easily.
For more information, visit the International Dyslexia Association.

ADHD, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Is your child just not listening, or does he have ADHD? Below are some common signs and symptoms.

A child with dyslexia:

  • Seems to talk and move constantly
  • Cannot sit still
  • Does not often play quietly
  • Does not focus on one activity for very long
  • Does not finish activities they start

It’s important to note also that these same symptoms might be caused by other things. For example, if a child has moved to a new school or if he has lost a loved one, he or she might act in similar ways. Sometimes, other medical conditions also cause similar behavior. ADHD is not usually diagnosed before age 6.

Our experts work with your child’s pediatrician to diagnosis any learning or behavior problems, and to help you find the best treatment. For more information, visit the National Mental Health Association.