“Don’t think that there’s a different, better child ‘hiding’ behind the autism. This is your child. Love the child in front of you. Encourage his strengths, celebrate his quirks, and improve his weaknesses, the way you would with any child.” – Claire Scovell, Author “Growing up on the spectrum”.
Children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display developmental delays when they are babies – particularly in their social and language skills. This mostly goes unnoticed as they sit or crawl, hence obvious differences do not catch the eye. However if one is alert and aware of symptoms of ASD then early signs can be detected and lead to a diagnosis.
What are the early signs of Autism in babies?
Early signs can be detected in infants in the age group of 12-18 months. If the baby does not respond to people around him/her, exhibits any form of language delay as well as fixates on an object all the time, the baby could be showing early signs of an autism spectrum disorder. Older babies/toddlers around 2 years or more do not respond to their names, avoid eye contact, lack joint attention, or spend time in repetitive movements such as rocking or arm flapping. Playing with toys such as lining them up in rows are examples of signs for a parent/guardian to look out for.
What are the three main symptoms of autism?
The three main symptoms are:
Why it is important to diagnose autism early?
An early diagnosis can lead to medical intervention/therapy which can lead to being independent, developing personal relationships, gain employment, and learning activities of daily living. Intervention and therapy will lead to an increase in positive behaviors with a decrease in negative or disruptive behaviors. It is therefore critical that early recognition and diagnosis is done. The key is timing.
Give children with ASD wings for tomorrow. Recognize the symptoms, seek help and watch them turn into confident citizens who contribute to the growth of civilization like British singer Susan Boyle, American actress Daryl Hannah, model Heather Kuzmich or author John Elder Robison.