Different people with autism can have very different symptoms hence term “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD).
Early signs of autism spectrum disorder are usually present before 18 months and parents usually know that there is something wrong with their kid. Family members and health care providers should value parent’s instinct and give importance to concern relating to child’s development.
Health care provider should know the fine line between typical and atypical development and should be able to recognize the Red Flags which indicates that a child should be evaluated and screened.
New born hearing screening and developmental screening should be done on slightest doubt.
Treatment should begin as early as possible by validated screening tools and should be tailored for every child to meet his needs.
Early intervention and educational approach may help in improving quality of life for autistic kid & family members.
Possible Red Flags for Autism
- The child does not respond to his/her name.
- The child doesn’t smile when smiled at.
- The child has poor eye contact.
- The child seems to be in his/her “own world.”
- The child seems to tune people out.
- The child is not interested in other children
- The child seems to prefer to play alone
- The child throws intense or violent tantrums.
- The child is overly active, uncooperative, or resistant.
- The child doesn’t know how to play with toys.
- Child does not play ‘pretend’ games.
- The child gets things for him/herself only.
- The child is very independent for his/her age.
- The child does things “early” compared to other children.
- Have trouble understanding other’s feeling or talking about their own feeling
- Not speak as well as other children his/her age?
- The child cannot explain what he/she wants.
- The child’s language skills are slow to develop or speech is delayed.
- The child doesn’t follow simple directions.
- At times, the child seems to be deaf
- unusual voice quality
Repetitive Behaviors & Restricted Interests:
- Repetitive movements with objects
- Repetitive movements or posturing of body, arms, hands, or fingers
- The child gets “stuck” doing the same things over and over and can’t move on to other things.
- Repeat words or phrases said to them
- Child spends a lot of time lining things up or putting things in a certain order. Have trouble adapting when routine changes.
Screening should also be done If the child…
- Does not babble or gesture by 12 months of age
- Does not say single words by 16 months of age
- Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own (rather than just repeating what someone says to him or her) by 24 months of age
- Has ANY loss of ANY language or social skill at any age.
Source- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
On Autism Awareness Day aim should be to educate parents, health care providers, and child educators to identify and act early.