Every child is different and they develop at their own pace. But there are some specific developmental milestones that every child should be reaching by particular ages. Therefore, if your child is not reaching these milestones, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
Sadly, it can be quite hard to spot the early signs of autism in your child, especially if you’re not an autism professional. Many of these signs are common to most young children, though they are prevalent in children who have autism. This article explains what you need to know about the first signs of autism.
Understanding autism in your child
Detecting autism quite early can make a huge difference to your child. When you recognize the early signs of autism, you can find the right help for your child so that they can learn, grow, and thrive.
That said, keep in mind that autism can express itself through a variety of symptoms. These can appear in infancy and early childhood to cause some delays in the most basic areas of the development of your child like learning to play, talk, and interact with others.
The signs and symptoms of autism can vary widely. This means some children with autism can show mild impairments while others have more challenging obstacles to overcome. But every child with autism can have problems to some degree in several areas. These include problems in communication non-verbally or verbally, flexible thinking and behaving, and relating to other people around them.
Doctors, experts, parents, and many others have different opinions about what exactly causes autism and how best to deal with it. However, everyone agrees that early and intensive intervention can help your child with autism. This is especially true for children who are at risk and those who may show these early signs.
Regardless of the age of your child, remember that there is still some hope for you. You can find a treatment that can reduce the effects of autism and help your little one thrive in life.
How you can detect the early warning signs
Because you are a parent, it means you have a great chance to spot the early signs of autism in your child. After all, you are supposed to know your little one and their behaviors better than anyone out there.
Think about this: a pediatrician can just have a quick check on your child and they may not have an opportunity to see everything about your child. While the child’s pediatrician is a suitable person to check on your child, don’t undermine the importance of your experience and observation on your child. So you should always know what to look out for in your child’s milestones. Below are some of the things you can do to spot early autism in your child:
Monitor the development of your child
Autism can involve various developmental delays, so you should always check if your child is reaching important emotional, social, and cognitive milestones. Developmental delays don’t always indicate that your child has autism, but they can also show that there is a high risk.
Take action if there is a concern
Because every child can develop at their pace, you should never panic when your child is a bit late to walk or talk. You should know that healthy development involves a lot of things. However, if you see that your child is not reaching the expected milestones for their age, or you think that there is a problem, then talk to your doctor immediately.
Don’t wait to see the outcome
Many parents who are concerned about their children’s developmental issues are usually told to wait and see. Unfortunately, waiting to see what may happen to your child can have serious repercussions on your little one. There is a risk that valuable time can be lost when your child is at the age where they can have received proper treatment to improve their autism issues.
Besides this, regardless of where there is a delay that is caused by autism or any other factor, children who have developmental issues don’t just grow out of their problems. Instead, they need to develop their skills in specific areas of delay, so they must get some help and specific treatment.
Trust your gut-feelings
Normally, your child’s doctor can take your concerns seriously and may do a thorough assessment of autism or any other developmental delays. However, some well-meaning doctors can also fail to see the red flags or even underestimate your child’s problems.
Hence, you should always trust your gut-feelings if you feel there is something wrong with your little one. You can make another follow-up appointment with your child’s doctor or ask to see a child developmental specialist.
Early signs and symptoms of autism in toddlers and babies
Once autism is detected in infancy, proper treatment can manage the disorder because your child’s brain has remarkable plasticity. That said, you must be aware that autism can be quite hard to detect or diagnose before your child is 24 months, though symptoms can arise between 12 and 18 months.
So if these signs can be spotted by 18 months, then your child can have intensive treatment to reverse the symptoms. You can also see first signs of autism here.
The early signs of autism can involve a lack of typical behaviors. In most cases, these symptoms can be misplaced as signs of a good child because your baby may be independent, quiet, and undemanding.
Some of the babies fail to respond to cuddling, look at you when being fed, or even reach out while they are being picked up. Other signs include that your baby doesn’t make eye contact like looking at you while being fed, follow objects visually, respond to their name, or point or use other gestures to communicate.
Other babies and toddlers also don’t share an interest or play with other people, experience discomfort, imitate your facial expressions and movements, or make some noises to get your attention.