According to researches, one in 59 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); this number was one in 68 back in 2011-12 and one in 88 in 2007-8. As Autism is getting more common in children, it is important for all new parents to have basic awareness of the condition, because Autism cannot be cured completely, but with early intervention you can help the child to learn the needed life skills and achieve their full potential.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex developmental disability that affects a child’s ability to communicate, play, learn, and relate to others. The symptoms and severity can vary widely between individuals, i.e. no two children diagnosed with ASD will have the same symptoms as it is a spectrum ranging from mild to severe. Each child is different, and Autism may effect each child differently.
Here in this article I will discuss some basic warning signs that if you see in your child, you must look for an expert opinion from Autism Doctors (pediatric psychologists, RBTs and BCBAs).
Here goes the list of signs you should be concerned about:
- A toddler doesn’t make eye contact when being smiled at (by the age of 6 months).
- Doesn’t respond to his or her name, or to the sound of a familiar voice (by the age of 12 months).
- No babbling (by the age of 12 months).
- Doesn’t follow the gesture when you point things out (by the age of 12 months)..
- Doesn’t point or wave goodbye (by the age of 12 months).
- Doesn’t imitate your movements and facial expressions (by the age of 9 months).
- Doesn’t play with other people.
- Doesn’t care if you hurt yourself or are in discomfort.
- No spoken words (by the age of 16 months).
- No meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating (by the age of 24 months).
As a child on autism spectrum gets older, the signs become more obvious and diverse. For instance:
- Disinterested of other people or what’s going on around them.
- Doesn’t know how to connect with others, play, or make friends.
- Has trouble understanding feelings or talking about them.
- Doesn’t seem to hear when others talk to him or her.
There may also be language and communication difficulties including:
- An abnormal tone of voice.
- Repeating the same words or phrases over and over.
- Responding to a question by repeating it, rather than answering it.
- Difficulty communicating needs or desires.
- Difficulty in understanding simple directions, statements, or questions.
- There are some signs of inflexibility as well that may warn you:
- Follows a rigid routine and cannot move forward if there’s a slight change in the routine.
- Has difficulty adapting to any changes environment, i.e. tantrum if the furniture is rearranged or bedtime is at a different time than usual.
- Obsession and unusual attachments to toys or strange objects i.e. certain toys, rubber bands, wheels etc.
- Watches moving objects like ceiling fan or car wheel for longer periods.
- Repeats the same actions or movements over and over again, such as flapping hands, rocking, or twirling.
- Finger flicking
- Head banging
- Staring at lights
- Moving fingers in front of the eyes
- Snapping fingers
- Tapping ears
- Lining up toys
- Spinning objects
The Bottom Line:
Not too many signs of autism are very clear or specific in infancy, but they emerge, usually gradually and become more obvious in the second and third year of life. Staying aware of the red flags of autism can help you to stay on top of your child’s development.