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Autism Information

Liberal USD 480 Autism Team:


Dayna Reinhart - Nationally Certified School Psychologist

Holly McCarter - Speech-Language Pathologist

Jennifer Hyde - Interventionist



What are the signs of Autism?

Each child with Autism is very different. Some have many of the signs listed below. Some have just a few. Children with Autism might:

  • Prefer not to be held or might cuddle only when they want to.
  • Seldom look at you and smile to let you know they are happy.
  • Will not point at objects that they are interested in or look at an object when you point at it.
  • Have difficulty understanding feelings.
  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Seem as though they don’t hear their name when it is called.
  • Respond to questions with answers that don’t seem to make sense.
  • Repeat words or phrases said to them instead of using their own words.
  • Flap their hands, rock back and forth, or spin in circles.
  • Get upset by small changes.
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound.
  • Lose language or social skills that they once had.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do immunizations cause Autism?

A: Current research does not show a link between Autism and immunizations. Failing

to immunize your child is a greater risk.


Q: Is Autism a mental illness?

A: No, it is a developmental disability that impacts communication, social interaction,

and behavior.


Q: Is Autism caused by problems during labor and delivery?

A: Autism is not caused by problems during labor and delivery, but your doctor may

recommend genetic testing.


Q: Can children with Autism learn?

A: Yes! Children with Autism can learn. Often they may need specialized instruction

to help them make the greatest gains.


Q: Does poor parenting cause Autism?

A: No. Autism is a neurobiological disorder.


Q: Is there a cure for Autism?

A: Autism is a life-long disability. The best treatments for Autism are those that include

Special Education programs and ongoing monitoring by a primary care physician.


Q: How do you know if someone has Autism?

A: There is no medical test for Autism. Testing is best done by a qualified team of professionals who will observe a

child’s behavior, review developmental and medical history, and talk to the child’s parents about their concerns.


Q: Does a diagnosis of Autism automatically guarantee Special Education services?

A: The early intervention or school based services staff will conduct a comprehensive

evaluation. This will look at your child’s strengths and challenges. They will meet

with you to determine if your child has an exceptionality and if your child requires supports

over and above what is available in the general education setting in order to be successful.


What if I have questions about my own child?

As a parent, you know your child best. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, begin by talking with your doctor or local school district.  


For more information:

Dayna Reinhart at 620-604-2862