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World Autism Awareness Day 2018: 7 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Autism In Children

World Autism Awareness Day: One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. Click here to know the signs and symptoms of autism in children.

World Autism Awareness Day 2018: 7 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Autism In Children

World Autism Awareness Day: Autism usually occurs in infancy or in early childhood

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Autism usually occurs in infancy or in early childhood
  2. One in 68 children is diagnosed with this condition
  3. When the kid turns 6-12 months, he/she should responding to their name

As a parent, it is horrific to see your little bundle of joy go through any form of discomfort. The minutest injury may look like a great deal of pain for the baby, and can be painful for the parent as well. In such a scenario, seeing your baby experience difficulty in learning the most basic lessons of life can be very distressing for a parent. The inability or delay in learning the basic lessons of life is known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, popularly known as Autism. And this year, the World Autism Awareness Day focuses on the empowering women and girls against such disabilities. It usually occurs in infancy or in early childhood. Autism sounds like a rare occurrence, but trust us, and it no longer is. One in 68 children is diagnosed with this condition.

Also read: Is my son’s behaviour abnormal?

Every child affected with autism deals with these conditions, at least to some extent:

1. Verbal and non-verbal communication

2. Thought process and behavioral flexibilities

3. Relating to the people and the world around

Director and Head of the Department of Neurology, Dr Praveen Gupta, "Autism is a behavioral disorder which is caused by a malfunction in the brain transmitters which alters the child's response to the environment. Early signs of autism include the child keeping to him/herself, not playing much with siblings, delayed speech, abnormal behavior, inability to communicate properly.This could also lead to a poor academic performance later in life. The child could also be avoiding interaction with people completely. Diagnosis of this condition involves a neuro-psychological analysis of the child. Not all kids with autism suffer from mental abnormalities. Some kids go on to do very well in life."


Also read: Tips For Parents Who Have A Child With Autism

Now that the little baby is in no place to understand where he or she is lacking, it is a parent's responsibility to watch out for the early signs and symptoms of autism in their kids. As a parent, you know your kid better than others and if you are spotting something strange in your child's behavior and his/her quirks, you must pay a visit to the pediatrician.

Here's a list of the 7 early signs and symptoms of autism in children you must watch out for.

1. Monitor your kid's development

Watch out for certain developmental delays in your kid. Every child has his or her own speed of developing but if you see certain delays in cognitive and emotional milestones in your child, you must watch out for the root problem. It may not necessarily be autism, but that does not mean that you can just overlook it.

2. Is your child not smiling enough?

When you smile at your child and he/she responds back in a warm gesture, it is the most joyful feeling for a parent. However, if your child does not smile enough, it could be something you need to worry about. By the time your child is 6 months, he or she should be able to give you joyful and happy expressions.

Also read: Why is my daughter so adamant and confused?

3. Infrequent imitation of social cues

Usually, a little child, as young as 9 months old, is able to imitate expressions and sounds around him/her. But if your child is not doing so, you may have to worry about it. This could be an early sign of autism.

4. Delays in the baby talk

By the time the baby is one, he/she should be babbling and cooing. Your bundle of joy begins his/her baby talk by this time. But if this is not happening, it could be an early indicator of autism.

5. Not responding to the name

By the time the baby turns 6-12 months, he/she should be responding to their name. Parents usually confuse this with a lack of hearing in the baby when it can actually be autism. If you are seeing this in your baby, you must check with your pediatrician.

6. Not seeking attention

Babies usually seek attention by cuddling in bed with you or making noises to call you or asking you to pick them up through gestures. But if your child rarely does that, it could be an early sign of autism. This is a form of inability to relate with people around which can further worsen as the baby grows up.

7. Lack of gestures

Your child should make gestures like waving hello and goodbye and pointing at things he/she needs by the time they turn 9 to 12 months. Inability to do so by this age could be an early sign of autism.

Remember that you do not always need to rush to a pediatrician as soon as you spot something strange in your kids. Before any doctor can help your kids, it's you who needs to come to their rescue. Educate yourself, know the difference between what is normal and what is not and support your little bundle of joy accordingly. 

(Dr Praveen Gupta is the Director and Head of the Department of Neurology at Fortis Hospital)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.



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