Classic signs of autism

Child Psychologist Allison Kawa, PhD, shares advice for parents on what the most common early signs of autism are in toddlers or preschool age children
Early Signs of Autism in Toddlers
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Classic signs of autism

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Some of the classic signs of autism that we often see in toddlers or preschool age children are going to include delays in speech. So the children either don´t talk at all or they might say some single words but they are not really combining them into phrases or sentences yet. Another classic symptom would be a lack of eye contact. Children who avert their eyes or who really only hold it briefly or who only really make eye contact with their moms and dads but not with other people. Hand flapping, toe walking, behaviors such as lining objects up and becoming very distressed if the lines are moved, spinning objects, very repetitive use of objects would be another classic sign of autism.

Child Psychologist Allison Kawa, PhD, shares advice for parents on what the most common early signs of autism are in toddlers or preschool age children

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Allison Kawa, PsyD

Child Psychologist

Alison Kawa is a licensed child psychologist specializing in the evaluation of children and adolescents.  Her pre- and post-doctoral training emphasized child and adolescent testing.  She was a fellow in the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic where she acquired extensive training in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and a range of other developmental disorders.  During this time, she also obtained certification from the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC) on the gold standard instruments (i.e., ADI-R and ADOS) used in autism evaluations.  Following her fellowship, she became Senior Assessor at UCLA where she worked for four years.

Alison completed the PsychoEducational Diagnostic Services Program (PEDS) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Assessment at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar.  In this setting, she conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents with a diverse range of issues including ADHD, Learning Disabilities, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.  She also completed the Child Therapy in a School Setting program offered by Phillips Graduate Institute, where she gained training and experience in play therapy, social skills groups, and therapeutic interventions appropriate for adolescents. 

While completing her graduate training in psychology, she held a staff position at Working With Autism, Inc., where she worked individually with children with autism, provided case management and supervision, and developed and implemented a staff-training curriculum.  It was through this position that she acquired a love for teaching and training. In addition to her private practice, she teaches pre- and post-doctoral fellows at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar, where she also works as a supervisor and consultant.

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