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You Doubt Your Child Could Have Autism? Look Out For These 3 Signs!

The severity of symptoms varies greatly, but all people with autism share some core symptoms. If you suspect that your child has autism, look out for these symptoms!

You Doubt Your Child Could Have Autism? Look Out For These 3 Signs!

All people with autism share some core symptoms.

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Social challenges, like difficulty engaging in everyday interactions.
  2. Communication difficulties like delayed babbling or talking.
  3. Repetitive behaviors like re-arranging objects, jumping, repeating words.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a life-long condition that is characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors. As a parent, it is your job to keep an eye out for these disorders, starting from an early age, as autism causes delays in many basic areas of development, such as learning to talk, play, and interacting with others. Even though you may not want to even think about your child having such a disorder, catching and recognizing autism early makes a world of a difference. Ideally, you should catch it by the time your child is 18 months. But, it is never too late. Thankfully, there are a myriad of treatments and options available to us today that can help reduce the disorder's effects, and help your child thrive.

The severity of symptoms varies greatly, but all people with autism share some core symptoms. If you suspect that your child has autism, look out for these symptoms:

1. Social challenges, like difficulty engaging in the give-and-take of everyday human interactions. Infants who go on to develop autism show symptoms like failure to respond to their names, reduced interest in people and delayed babbling. Your toddler may have difficulty playing social games with other children, and may prefer to play alone. S/he may not imitate the actions of others. Moreover, they may not react appropriately to your display of affection or anger, and may have difficulty seeing things from another person's point of view. They have difficulty regulating their emotions, and interpreting what others think and feel as well. Another common difficulty is the inability to understand body language, tone of voice and expressions which are not meant to be taken literally, like sarcasm.

2. Communication difficulties like delayed babbling, talking, or learning to use hand gestures. About 40% of children with ASD don't talk at all, and around 30% develop some language skills, but lose them later in life. They also may experience some significant language delays, and when they do develop their language skills, they may use them in different ways. Some have difficulty combining words into meaningful sentences. They may speak only single words or repeat the same phrase over and over. Some go through a stage where they repeat what they hear verbatim as well. They may also carry on talking about a particular subject for a long time. On the other hand, some children with autism are not able to express themselves appropriately, as their movements, gestures or expressions may not match what they are saying. They also have problems with mixing up pronouns, and may speak in a flat, robotic voice, or a sing-song voice.

3. Repetitive behaviors like arranging and re-arranging objects, jumping, or repeating sounds or phrases or specific words. They also may only engage in a particular set of activities. For example, a child with autism may spend hours just lining up their toys, and if someone disrupts the line-up, they would be extremely distressed or upset. Slight changes like this can be extremely chaotic for them. They also may have concentrated focus on certain pieces of a whole, like the wheels of their toy car. These behaviors may also turn into complete, intense preoccupations, with objects as trivial as a fan or a toilet. This flows into the teenage and adult years as well, as it has been noted that they tend to develop tremendous interest in numbers, symbols, dates or science-related topics.

When it comes to autism, remember to monitor your child's development, and take action if you're concerned. A lot of parents also tend to adopt a 'let's wait and see' approach, which risks losing valuable time at an age where the child has the best chance of improvement. And, at the end of the day, remember to always trust your parental instincts.

Also read: As You See It, As They Experience It - Autism



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