What is Autism? Autism is a PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) of children, characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity, and emotional detachment. Early detection is crucial in the treatment of autism and will add in the improving the disorder. Symptoms can exhibited as early as 18 months of age but the average of diagnosis is about 3 years old. Early detection can make a huge impact in the treatment of an autistic child. A child should be immediately evaluated by a doctor, if they show the following signs:
Dosen't respond to name- A infant should respond when called by name when they're about 12 months old. Many parents might assume that the child has hearing loss. It can be pretty tricky trying to figure this one out. If the child responds to the parent when his/her name is called most of the time but only ignores them when they're preoccupied with something else. This is not a sign of autism. But if the child never responds to their name but responds to to other commands. This is a sign of autism.
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No eye contact- It is not normal for an infant not have eye contact with it's parents. Infants love to look at parents especially when they are being fed. If the infant never looks eye to eye with the parent, the infant could be autistic.Some parents may blame themselves for not being able to bond with the child, only to find out later that autism is to blame.
Seeking you out- Infants love to seek out their parents to show them various items they've discovered. Many times the child will crawl to the parent sit in their lap. Infants are usually vying for the parents attention. But a child will autism will not. They won't even attempt to engage the parent.
Babbling- An infant will usually attempt to speak when they are a few months old. And soon after that they'll be saying "mama", "dada" in no time. An autistic child would not speak out all and would be seemingly be making no sound at all. This is a red flag.
Language skills or speech are delayed- Child with autism usually will not speak until 3 or 4 years old. In the most extreme cases, some may never speak.
Unresponsiveness- Autistic children are usually are unresponsive to people. The child also will not respond to anyone who attempts to engage them.
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Repetitive actions- Autistic children are known for performing the same action over and over again. In some cases they repeatly perform the same action hours at a time. The child may obsessivley be playing with a piece of string or some other obscure object. They may also have an emotional break down if forced to break any mundane routine.
Doesn't smile when smiled at- If an infant isn't smiling by 6 months of age, the parents may have cause to be alarmed. Babies usually smile and giggle when they see their parents If an infant has no expression at all; it's out of the ordinary.