Your Questions. Our Answers.

For 50 years, Damar has provided answers to the questions raised by autism. Here, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions. If you don’t find the answers you need here, click here and provide your contact information. We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Autism – or autism spectrum disorder – is a complicated developmental disability. While it can result in a wide range of behaviors, it is mostly exhibited in four primary ways:

  • Social skill limitations
  • Sensory integration challenges
  • Language and communication problems
  • Atypical behaviors

In some cases these effects are subtle. In other cases, they can be so severe they impair the child’s ability to function at home and in the community.

Typically, the signs of autism can be seen early in a child’s life. These signs can include the absence of babbling and cooing as an infant, a lack of facial expressions, and little or no response to cuddling. In more severe cases, the infant might actually pull away from physical nurturing.

As the child develops, other signs to look for include the lack of emotional expressions, lack of social engagement, an unusual interest in pieces and parts of objects, a lack of imaginative play, and an inability to understand nonverbal social cues like gestures, tone of voice, or facial expressions.

As a toddler, children with autism might begin to repeat sounds or words, and might seem extremely shy or fearful in social settings. A key sign of autism is the lack of language development. Some children with autism will react strongly to touch or sounds, changes in routine, or requests to engage in simple activities.

For information about child development milestones, click here.

While you can find a number of theories about the causes of autism, most credible experts agree that we simply do not yet know what truly causes autism. What we do know is that it is becoming more and more common. In fact, it is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., affecting 1 in every 68 children.
Early intervention and Applied Behavior Analysis — also known as ABA (see below) — are the only treatments for autism that show clear, positive results. Common interventions for children with autism include specific behavioral supports and response plans, direct verbal and nonverbal communication training, sensory training to help with reactions to touches, sights, smells, tastes and sounds, and social skills training. 
If you have concerns about your child and suspect autism, you should begin by consulting your primary care physician or pediatrician. Sometimes, symptoms that are similar to those seen with autism can be caused by treatable medical conditions. However, if you do suspect autism, ABA Autism Service by Damar can provide diagnostic assessments performed by a childhood psychologist. Once the evaluation is complete, we can help you understand your options. Click here to learn more. 
There is no single test used to diagnose autism, but any evaluation should involve some consistent components including assessments of cognitive functioning, expressive and receptive language, behavioral functioning, and, in some cases, academic skills. It also should include a developmental and family history interview, as well as observations of the child in a variety of different settings.
The diagnosis of autism can be made as early as age 18 months, but is more commonly identified between ages two and three.
Simply contact us. We’ll help you understand what you need and how we start to get you the help you need. 
Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.

Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism. It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health. Over the last decade, the nation has seen a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help persons with autism live happy and productive lives. In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective.

Indiana has what is known as an autism mandate, which means ABA is covered under many Indiana-based insurance plans. Our team will work with you to understand your coverage or help you find a plan to cover an ABA program. Fundraising opportunities are also available to help with coverage. Click here to learn more.
While many nonprofit and for-profit businesses offer ABA services, only ABA Autism Services by Damar can back its services with the experience and expertise of an organization that has been serving people with developmental challenges and autism for nearly 50 years. In addition, Damar has state-of-the-art facilities and a professional staff with the knowledge and practical experience needed to tailor each treatment program to each individual child. Click here to learn more. 

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