There are a number of tests that are conducted during pregnancy to rule out any behavioral or developmental disorder in the (still) developing baby in the womb. The number of problems that a child and/or mother are susceptible to are numerous but so are their treatments and solutions. As in our last article we mentioned that we cannot do anything about the majority of autism reasons, but if you understand these symptoms even after the birth, there is a lot you can do and you can make a world of a difference in both your and your child’s life.
1Early Signs of Autism
Detecting early signs and symptoms of autism is easy and often takes very less effort on parent’s part.
Here’s a list of some obvious signs of autism to watch out for in a baby –
- When a child is indifferent to the feelings of those around him – example, a parent trying to smile or play with her baby but he/she seems unresponsive or in his own world.
- When a child’s speech is delayed beyond 18 months. (It is to be noted, however, that a general delay in speech as against delay due to autism are different altogether. If your child is responsive and says at least a few single words, there is no reason for concern).
- When a child is disinterested in being social (doesn’t want to play with kids his age or meet people).
- When a child makes little to no eye contact. Even when someone tries to talk to the child, he will look anywhere but in the eyes of the person talking to him.
- When a child doesn’t understand the gestures you make at him. For example, if you point to a ball in front of him and he doesn’t respond to the ‘pointed finger’.
- When a child fails to give a happy expression on seeing his mom or dad after a bit of gap.
- When a child does not imitate your facial expressions or sounds you make to make him smile.
- When a child prefers solitude rather than having people around.
- A child may have echolalia, a condition in which the autism affected child repeats words or phrases over and over again.
- When a child has overly or under sensitive attitude towards certain things like the shape of a fruit, the way someone calls his name, the taste of a certain food etc.
- When a child does not want to be touched at all or want very little physical contact. This is applicable to contact even with his parents.
- When a child does things in a repetitive manner like spinning in a circle, making circular motion of his fingers, constantly staring at an object, rocking back and forth etc.
2Diagnosis of Autism
Unlike other various disorders or illnesses, autism is not detected from a blood test. Only a child’s behavior and development are observed by experienced professionals. The diagnosis of autism at 1.5 years or younger is possible but only at age 2, is it truly reliable. This does not mean that all the children are diagnosed by this time, there are some whose diagnosis happens when they are much older because they display only milk signs of autism. For proper diagnosis of autism, there is a
- Developmental screening; and
- Comprehensive diagnostic evaluation
In Developmental screening, a baby is observed for his developmental delays at different stages like 9 months, 18 months and 24 or 30 months.
In a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, a child’s full test is done which includes hearing and eye-sight test, genetic test, neurological testing and other important medical tests.
It is important that you, as a parent, watch out for any of the early signs your child may have. If you do suspect it, it is always wise to consult a doctor and get the screening for the same done in a timely manner.
If you have any questions to ask us regarding Autism, please feel free to get in touch with us or let us know.