As a parent it becomes very difficult to believe that your bundle of joy may be autistic. The inability of a child to express himself, to get along with other kids or even unable to read and write properly is misunderstood by the parents and kid is often blamed for being mischievous or over pampered.
A recent study showed that 50% of cases of autism gets reported at the age of 5 or older than that, which becomes a little late to fetch the benefits of various therapies.
Experts say “When you tell parents that their child is down with fever they are ready to do all that is required for an early recovery of the kid. But when you tell them about a developmental disorder like Autism they refuse to accept it. And instead of starting an early intervention program they put immense pressure on the kid at home and at school to concentrate more and pay more attention, which causes more damage than doing any good”.
Due to lack of awareness of autism among the parents the initial signs and symptoms are often overlooked.
Identifying the early signs of autism is very important, as early detection at the age of 6 – 30 months can be life changing. Our Doctors also say that with an early intervention 1 in 5 kids can be recovered to a stage where they are no longer considered autistic.
Severity of symptoms of an autistic child varies greatly, but autism has some common core symptoms.
What are those? Let’s know more about it!
- As an infant if the kid is too quiet, undemanding and silent.
- Failure to develop non verbal communication skills like appropriate body posture, eye to eye contact, and lack of facial expressions.
- Unable to respond to his name by first birthday.
- If gestures like waving or pointing are very rare.
- Delayed speech and language skills
- Aggressive behavior
- Robotic voice
- Repetitive actions like flapping hand, rocking and jumping
- Constantly moving or hyper behavior
- Problems with pronouns like use of “You” instead of “I”.
- Lack of understanding emotions like pain and sorrow
- Lack of interest in group activities
- Repetitive use of particular phrase or a sentence.
- Failure to get along with kids of same age group. Shows lack of interest in playing, sharing or interacting with other kids.
- Short attention span
- Prefers to stay alone and dislikes cuddling or being pampered
- Lack of motor skill co ordination.
- Doesn’t seem to hear or pay attention when others talk.
- Fails to understand simple directions, statements or questions.
Once the early signs of autism are detected it’s very essential that a child development specialist is consulted as these symptoms are unlikely to be identified by a general practitioner.
Remember, unless we diagnose early, a child with autism doesn’t get better.