Early Signs of Autism Every Parent Should Know
It is difficult to spot autism right away, especially when you are a parent. As a parent, you always want to believe your child is healthy. That is why sometimes you might ignore obvious signs of autism. Even your instincts could signal that something might be wrong, so don’t ignore them.
Reacting promptly is the best thing you can do for your child and his future. That is why you should take some time to educate yourself about autism and how to spot it on time.
What Is Autism?
Autism represents a spectrum of closely related disorders with a shared core of symptoms. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) appears in infancy and early childhood. ASD can hinder many important areas of development such as learning, walking, talking, playing, etc.
Autism involves a variety of developmental delays, so keeping a close eye on when—or if—your child is hitting the key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones is an effective way to spot the problem on time. While developmental delays don’t strictly imply your child has autism, they may indicate a heightened risk.
The symptoms vary so; it is hard to spot the problem at an early stage. However, there are four main areas you should focus on:
- The child has difficulties to communicate verbally or non-verbally.
- It is hard for him/her to relate to others and the world around them.
- Child is experiencing temper tantrums and sensory meltdowns.
- They have trouble thinking and behaving flexibly.
Early Signs Of Autism In Babies Or Toddlers
If you notice these signs in your child’s behavior it is recommended to contact your child’s doctor. So if:
- Your baby is not making an eye contact with you while you feed him/her.
- The child is not responding when you call him/her by his/her name.
- He/she doesn’t follow the objects visually or gestures you are pointing out to them.
- He/she is not making noises to draw your attention.• He/she is not responding to cuddling or initiating to be picked up.
- The child is not imitating your movements or facial expressions.
- The child is not playing with other people .
- The child lacks empathy when you hurt yourself by accident or experience some kind of discomfort.
In the next lines, you will find out when to react if you spot these symptoms.
When To React If You See The Signs Of Autism?
The first and the most important rule is: TAKE ACTION if you are concerned! Every child develops at a different pace, so you don’t need to panic if your child is a little late to talk or walk. When it comes to healthy development, there’s a wide range of “normal.” But, if your child is not developed enough for his or her age, or you suspect a problem, share your concerns with your child’s doctor immediately.
The perfect scenario would be that your child’s doctor will take your concerns seriously and perform a professional evaluation for autism or other developmental delays. However, if that is not the case, and you still feel that something is wrong, ask for second opinion or schedule follow-up appointment. In the end, your child will be grateful.
Prevention: Causes Of Autism
The most common opinion is that autism is a matter of genetics. Babies may be born with a genetic vulnerability to autism that is then triggered by something in the external environment, either while he or she is still in the womb or sometime after birth. However, that is not a universal rule. The external environment is considered to be extremely important for baby’s development.
It’s important to say that the environment, in this context, means anything outside the body. It’s not limited to things like pollution or toxins in the atmosphere. In fact, one of the most important environments appears to be the prenatal environment.
Prenatal factors that may contribute to autism
- Taking antidepressants during pregnancy.
- Nutritional deficiencies early in pregnancy, especially not getting enough folic acid.
- The age of the mother and father.
- Complications at or shortly after birth, including very low birth weight and neonatal anemia.
- Maternal infections during pregnancy.
- Exposure to chemical pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, while pregnant.
These were some basic pieces of advice on how to spot autism at early stages. Enjoy your child’s development and remember that prevention is the best medicine!