Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) generally show early signs of autism within the first year after birth. Some children during the early development phase, appear to be normal. But suddenly or gradually get withdrawn and may lose language skills- that they already had. In most cases, clear signs of autism appear before two to three years of age. However, in cases-which are at the mild end of the spectrum- the signs of autism may not be identified until adolescence. Such children sit, crawl, and walk on time. But the differences in the development of body gestures, pretend play, and social language remains unnoticed. The early signs of autism may include- speech/ language delays and differences in behavior while interacting with peers and others.
What is Autism?
Autism is a variable developmental disorder. It appears by the age of three years. It leads to impairment of the ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally. It also leads to repetitive behavioral patterns, with restrictive activities and interests. Making and maintaining social relationships become difficult. It is diagnosed 4- 5 times more in males than females. According to the center for disease control and prevention (CDC), about 1% of the world’s population (75,000,000 people) is suffering from autism. In the U.S. app., 1 in 44 children is diagnosed with autism. It is estimated that India has the largest number of autistic children (app.851,000) followed by China (app.422,000).
There is no cure available for autism. The treatment focuses mainly on maximizing your child’s ability to function by reducing autism spectrum disorder symptoms, and supporting development and learning.
What are the early signs of autism?
Following are the few early signs of autism. The symptoms vary a lot. One child with autism may or may not have the exact same symptoms as another child with autism. The list given below is only a guide and is not the way to diagnose your child with autism. Many times a child may show few of the behaviors – but may not have autism. There may be other developmental issues. And a child may have autism without showing all of the following signs. Your child’s healthcare provider can guide you the best- if you have any concerns.
A few of the possible early signs can be:-
- Avoiding eye to eye contact
- Losing social or language skills
- Prefering to remain alone
- Rigidity with daily routine or surroundings- finding difficult to adapt changes
- Repeating words or pharases without meaning ( parroting or echoing)
- Prefer to look at objects rather than people
- Show little or no desire to be picked up or held
- Show little interest in toys, focus on single part of the toy- like playing with the wheel of the toy car only.
- Less sensitive to pain or temperature.
- Show high sensitivity to sound, taste, texture, light, or color.
- Remain engaged in repitative movements like- rocking, spinning, or hand flapping.
Signs of autism- as per age.
A child with autism by the age of 12 months may show the following signs:-
- May not babble or coo
- May not respond to his or her name
- May not look at objects being pointed by another person
- May not react to back and forth interactions, like- waving or peekaboo
A child with autism by the age of 16 months may show the following signs:-
- May not say single words
A child with autism from age of 18 to 24 months may show the following signs:-
- May not get involved in pretend play ( playing with assumption)
A child with autism by the age of 24 months may show the following signs:-
- May not be able to speak two pharase – meaningful word.
- May not show any interest on objects – pointed towards him.
Difference between child with autism- and normally growing child.
The following difference can generally be found in a normally growing child and a child with autism.
At 12 months:-
- A normal growing child – will turn his or her head on being called his or her name.
- A child with autism – may not respond, even after repeatedly being called his or her name. But will respond to other sounds.
At 18 months:-
- A normally growing child – If with delayed speech skills- will compensate with facial expression, will point, or will show gestures.
- A child with autism – may not compensate for delayed speech skills, or may repeat the words, he or she has just heard.
At 24 months:-
- A normally growing child – while playing will share his joy with his mother.
- A child with autism – may not look at the face of his mother and may not share the signs of pleasure.
If you find any signs of concern- contact your child’s healthcare provider. Generally, autism is identified in children at or after 3 years of age. But early diagnosis and possible therapies can make your child- do better. Research shows that early intervention can allow your child to perform better and can manage his condition more successfully.
For awareness purposes only.
At ilaj Ayur Heritage Hospital, Kerela, India- you can better manage the condition of your child with signs of autism or other developmental issues.
Use the discount code given below – for managing your child’s condition with autism or other developmental issues in a better way.
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