Detecting Autism in Children

Autism is a condition affecting the neural development of a child that may lead to problems in social interaction and behaviors. Every parent would want their children to grow normally and knowing that your child has autism becomes very difficult to accept.

Children who are found to exhibit autism as early as eighteen months have better treatment outcomes to help them thrive, grow and learn to be the best that they can. Nevertheless, parents should never lose hope no matter what the child’s age is because treatments for autism always help children if treatments are coupled with good parenting and understanding the condition of the child. In this line, it is important for parents to understand autism and how to detect it early in children.

All about Autism

Autism includes a spectrum of disorders that include similar symptoms that vary on the extent or severity. Autism may affect the child’s ability to interact with others, play or talk. Children with autism have varied impairments from a single impairment to several problems that give children a lot of obstacles to meet. Despite the differences in children with autism, the most common characteristics of children with this disorder include:

  1. Problems in communication, either verbal or non-verbal
  2. Problems in establishing relationships with other people and the environment
  3. Problems in behaviors

Detection of Autism

The detection of autism relies greatly on parents. Parents are the child’s companion 24 hours a day and seven days a week so warning signs of autism is usually observed by parents more than anyone else. Parents may also see some problems in their child that a pediatrician may not see so parents really have a huge role to play in the detection of autism. The following are the important tips that you can do in order to detect autism early in your child:

  • Observe your child’s developmental milestones

Since autism may lead to developmental delays, although not relative, observing the milestones of your child is the first thing that you can do while the child is still an infant. Observe when your child first smiled, giggled, talked, and others. You may want to inform your pediatrician all these things to tell you if it is normal or not. Also, look into some types of regression in your child because this may be a very serious sign for autism. For instance, your child already started to say mommy or daddy and as she grows, she suddenly stopped using those words. This may be a warning sign of autism that you need to refer to your pediatrician immediately.

  • Take action in every problem you see

Any delay that you see in your child requires actions. It is important to have an idea on what are the normal milestones of children in order to compare your child’s achievements to normal development.

  • Trust your intuitions

Never underestimate your intuitions if you see problems in your child. Sometimes, even doctors miss to see red flags in your child so you should always refer to your doctor any instincts that you have.

  • Never wait for your child to outgrow it

Waiting for your child to become normal like other children just makes you lose the right time for your child to improve. If you see some problems today, this is the right time for your child to have some therapies to maximize their growth and development.

To make it easier to detect autism symptoms, here are the most common manifestations of a child with autism:

  • Absence of eye contact
  • Does not smile
  • Does not respond to sound or name
  • Does not visually follow objects
  • Does not wave goodbye or make other gestures
  • Does not make noises if he or she needs your attention
  • Does not imitate facial expressions and movements
  • Does not respond to or initiate cuddling
  • Does not share enjoyment with other people
  • Does not reach out to other people
  • Does not ask for help for basic needs

These are important signs to be observed in children in order to detect autism early in life and improve treatment outcomes.

About the author

Dr. Amarendra is a regular contributor to AccessRx.com,  a safe and secure online medication facilitator and health blog.

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  1. Pharmacologic Agents May Trigger Autism in a Genetically Predisposed Individual | Autism from a Father's Point of View - June 15, 2012

    [...] development of autism tends to happen during the early life as early as infancy. Signs of autism are usually observed even during infancy and the signs tend to manifest more as the child grows. [...]

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