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Has my child developed full blown autism over the years?

Q: I have a 14 years old daughter who has been diagnosed with possible mild autism. She has no social skills and is scared to talk to people of any age. As a child she would not eat in front of us. Hugging was out of the question. No eye contact. Going to family reunions was not an option since she would throw tantrums to go home and would keep repeating things. We always thought she was overly shy. She always acted like she was in her own world. We would call her out and she wouldn't hear us, you would have to touch or pat her shoulder to gain attention. We always had to explain her even the simplest of tasks in detail. Is it possible for this to go unnoticed until such a late age? She had problems in junior high school too and refused to go so I home schooled her. Now she won't go to High school and has panic attacks. Please help.

A:The behaviour you describe has probably developed gradually over the years. I do not think that she should be forced to go to a regular school, unless there is a special class of a few children, which she can go to. She must get some appropriate therapy, which will help her to cope with a noisy world. If she has interest in music or any other art, give her a chance to learn that and to do well in it. If she can help with cooking, it might be anactivity through which she can ultimately develop a career. Locate the right resource persons in your area. We can only give some pointers.

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