Before writing this article I should state the fact that I have no Medical background. This is a simple attempt to put together the scattered data on the web to make it easy for parents to get an idea about Autism. I went through medical journals and papers and articles on the web to get all the facts correct and please do not hesitate to correct me if there is any mistake.
As parents, we never want to believe that our precious bundle has a problem. But when it comes to Autism it’s better to identify it at an early stage. Treatments can reduce the disorder’s effects and help your child learn, grow and thrive.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of development disabilities that can cause considerable social communication and behavioral challenges. Some children might repeat certain behaviors and might not be comfortable with change occurring in their daily activities. The ways of learning, paying attention or reacting to things is different with each ASD child. However there is no cure for ASD so far but research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development.
The signs and symptoms of autism vary widely. Some autism children only have mild impairments while others have more to overcome. However every child with autism have problems a least to some degree in the following three areas.
- Thinking and Behaving
Parents are in the best position of identifying the symptoms because you know your child better than anyone.The pediatrician can be a valuable asset but he/she might not have the chance to identify anything during your 15 mins visit.
- Monitor your child’s development
I know this is no easy task. We need to get out sometimes and relax and enjoy. But keeping an closer eye on when your child is hitting the key milestones is an effective way to spot the problems early.
- Take actions if you are concerned
Every Child’s development is different. So you don’t need to worry or panic. ( Believe me I know how we panic). But if the child is not meeting the milestones for his/her age or you suspect a problem go meet your doctor.
- Don’t accept a Wait- and – see approach
I know,we all say this. “Lets wait and see” But in this case it’s the worst. You are risking valuable time at an age where your child has the best chance of improvement.
- Trust your instincts
Well. you are the best. You know how to react. Sometimes even the best doctors will miss red flags or underestimate problems. Listen to your gut. If it tells you that there is something wrong seek for second opinion or go meet a child development specialist.
Some children with autism start to develop communication skills and them regress, usually between 12-24 months. For Example ; a child who was communication with words such as “mommy”. “up” may stop using the language entirely. ( Any loss of speech, babbling, gestures or social skills should be taken very seriously as regression is a major red flag for autism)
The earliest signs of autism involve the absence of normal behavior not the presence of abnormal ones. So they can be tough to spot. In some cases, quiet, independent and undemanding babies can be autism victims (Don’t panic now, keep a track on their Milestones and you are good to go)
Early sings of Autism in babies/toddlers
- Doesn’t make eye contact
- Doesn’t smile when smiled at
- Doesn’t respond to his or her name or to the sound of familiar voice
- Doesn’t follow objects visually
- Doesn’t point or wave goodbye
- Doesn’t follow the gesture when you point things out
- Doesn’t make noise to get your attention
- Doesn’t initiate or respond to cuddling
- Doesn’t initiate your facial expressions
- Doesn’t reach out to be picked up
- Doesn’t play with other people or share interest and enjoyment
- Doesn’t ask for help or make basic requests.
The following delays warrant an immediate evaluation by your child’s pediatrician.
- By 6 months: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions
- By 9 months: No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions
- By 12 months: Lack of response to name
- By 12 months: No babbling or “baby talk”
- By 12 months: No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving
- By 16 months: No spoken words
- By 24 months: No meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating
Autism children are not any different than any of our children. They deserve to be treated the same way and also should be privileged to have the same education as every child. Think differently and you will be able to ease a mothers worry thinking her child won’t fit into the society.
The above fact were taken from various web article and medical journals just to make it easy for the mothers to get an idea about autism. However if you find any of the details here are incorrect or misleading, feel free to let me know.
Next article will be on Autism symptoms on Older children!