To assess the signs of autism, it is good to bear in mind that we must try to get the whole picture before arriving at a conclusion. As with most medical condition, a single sign may simply be the result of a completely different issue altogether and may not be relevant at all.
To understand what these signs are, we must first need to know what is autism. In a nutshell, autism refers to a neurological condition that affects the developmental abilities of young children and is a disorder that normally manifests itself when a child has extreme difficulty in interacting and communicating with others in a manner that we have come to consider as ‘normal’ behavior. In addition, an autistic child has a tendency to perform a pattern of repetitive stereotypic activities that is muscle motor driven and doesn’t seem to serve any particular purpose but unfortunately may even be a cause for a self-injury to the autistic child.
If a child is having difficulty in these areas, a parent may wish to give attention to other aspects of their child’s growth and development. Most certainly, anyone who spent sufficient quality time with their children will spot some of these signs and to voice their concerns. An early diagnosis is so important in helping children with autism to learn to cope with the disorder and in finding the best possible route for them to achieve their full potential in life.
Some of these conditions may seem to overlap but need to be assessed together. They include such things as slow language skills development and the inability to express their needs or desires. In turn, they may appear to not ‘hear’ you and may not even seem to respond to their names. There is a general lack of interest to their surrounding and on what is happening around them as if they are absorbed and totally detached in a completely different world of their own. They may prefer to walk on their toes or exhibit other odd awkward movements that are more than just an occasional occurrence.
Other vivid behavioral indicators are hyperactive, resistant and uncooperative behavior that are not easily controlled by the parents or caregivers. They have a tendency to keep to themselves and often time cannot interact socially with the people around them including not making eye contacts or mingling with others. They will not be interested at all in what the other children are doing near by. There may also exhibit compulsive behavior in lining or arranging things in a particular order or pattern.
On the other side of the developmental coin, many autistic children show skills that appear to be more advanced than other children of their age in the mastery of maths and music. In fact, some of these autistic children can outshine and outperform even the adults in these areas.
Keep in mind that every child, regardless of whether he is ‘normal’ or ‘different’, is a unique human being. They will all develop at different rates and if some of the signs of autism mentioned above are evident in them, it need not necessarily imply the diagnosis of autism. However, all abnormal conditions exhibited during the course of development warrants some concern and care. Hence, it is the duty of every parent to be aware of the signs of autism and to be sensitive to their child’s development.