Every parent should be familiar with the Autism signs in children so that they are able to take preventative or diagnostic action as soon as these signs appear. Early diagnosis will have a dramatic effect on how the condition deteriorates because there are many things that can be done to slow or reverse the process whilst the child is very young and still developing. What are the warning signs that your child might be at risk of developing an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and when should you start looking for them?
Autism Spectrum Disorder doesn’t consist of a single diagnosis. As the name suggests ASD is a spectrum disorder including the diagnosis of Aspergers and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD). Many autistic people are highly functioning; Bill Gates is a perfect example. For others who are at the other end of the spectrum it can be a debilitating disease that gets more difficult to manage the older they become. Some sufferers will end up needing daily support from family or care workers for the rest of their lives. Although there is much data to support possible causes of Autism, the scientific and medical community continues to debate the possible triggers. It would be reasonable to suggest that some people are born with a higher predisposed risk of developing Autism and for others there may be environmental factors involved. Nonetheless, early detection is likely to be the saving grace.
Early intervention can provide the child with help that could play a huge role in how their future plays out. If the Autism is linked to heavy metal toxicity, ridding the body of these toxins needs to be done as early as possible before permanent damage is done to the brain. If the child is going to suffer from speech problems or language delay, early intervention will provide a solid foundation from which to begin their therapy.
One of the most common autism signs in children is flapping. This is particularly difficult to detect as it is a common trait amongst babies before they gain control over their limbs. Babies flap their arms particularly if they are excited, happy, want something or are tired. If this flapping continues well beyond the age where they are able to walk there could be cause for concern.
Other common autism signs in children is lack of desire for social interaction and a lack of apparent emotion. Autistic children and adults are withdrawn, preferring their own company over the company of others. If you are concerned that you baby doesn’t develop the normal social skills of his or her peers it might be worth further investigation. Bear in mind that children tend to play ‘around’ each other not ‘with’ each other until they are over the age of 2 years. A lack of eye contact coupled with a desire to be alone would be a cause for concern.
Obsessive behavior is another indicator which might go hand in hand with the lack of social interaction. If your child shows signs of being obsessive, especially in relation to tactile things, it might be an indication that you need to seek further help.
Autistic children and adults don’t cope well with change, especially if routines are broken. Look out for signs of obvious distress that are out of proportion with the event, especially if they involve a severe tantrum due to a broken routine.
Some children with autism also seem to have sensitivity to light and noise, although these signs of autism are more difficult to detect and may not be present in all cases.
Delayed speech is another sign of Autism in children, although this is not always the case. Some children start out on a path of normal development only to deteriorate later on after they reach the age of two. This is one of the reasons why ASD is such a baffling and frustrating condition; many parents suffer the heartache of ‘losing’ their child to symptoms that were not present in the first few years of life.
As difficult as it may be to seek out the diagnosis; understanding the signs of autism in children may assist you to seek support earlier, leading to a better outcome for the child.