Five autism symptoms every parent must know
Most of the parents today are still unaware on how to reach out to their child with autism. Hence, symptoms for autism are often not noticed. Early intervention and diagnoses of autism can help the child lead an independent life. So parents must keep a watch on the developmental milestones of the child. Check out five autism symptoms that every parent must know.
Autism can affect the social behavior and communication skills of a child. But with early intervention and diagnosis the child can lead a normal life too. Over the years, experts and researchers have focused on why parents need to be vigilant during their child’s developing or growing up years.
Autism can be diagnosed as early as three years of age. Some of the signs can be evident as early as 10-12 months as well. For children who have more than mild autism, lack of eye contact and being non-verbal are the common symptoms.
Anita Pradeep, whose son Brian Varghese has autism, says that her son was diagnosed when he was around two and half years.
No eye contact, no speech and lack of social skills, repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, aggression, sensitivity to certain sounds and lights are some of the symptoms that Brian had showed. I wish if I had some clue about autism, I wouldn’t have waited till two years of his age. Rather,I would have taken him for an assessment at an early age. Therapy and training is important. Accepting the condition and working with the child with support of immediate and extended family can do wonders—Anita Pradeep.
Here are some autism symptoms that every parent must know
Repetitive behaviors– Have you noticed your child showing repetitive behavior? This can be constant jumping, twirling or repeating certain sounds and phrases. If so, then you must consult an expert. In fact, repetitive behavior is one of the most common symptoms of autism. Some researchers highlight that these symptoms can be higher in boys under the autism spectrum disorder. But there has not been any fixed study on this.
Strong interests or obsessions– A child with autism can have a deep obsession with one product or activity. Some parents tend to ignore thinking that it is just a behavior. The child can be obsessed with a fan, television or even a computer. For older children, the obsession can be with symbols, dates, songs and certain topics.
Lack of social skills– Autism can affect the social skills of a child. They will refuse to be with their peers. Rather, most of the children under the spectrum prefers to stay in their cocoon shell or rather comfort zone. Experts point out that music, arts and animal therapy can improve the condition to a large extent. Though studies are yet to prove it. Some of them have the desire to interact. But do not know how to do it. So if your child shows such symptoms, it is important to get clinical help.
Delayed verbal communication– Most of the children under autism spectrum can communicate. But some others might have delayed communication. Parents tend to think that communication will improve over age. But if you notice a delayed communication milestone, consult an expert. If your child is over 24 months and still does not have good communication skills, then seek help.
Avoiding eye contact– As a parent, it is not hard to notice if your child has proper eye contact or not. Children with autism usually tends to avoid eye contact with others. This can include with their own parents too.
Seema Lal, Co-founder of TogetherWeCan, a leading parent support group in Kerala says, “Let parents focus on a healthy child development checklist instead of a diagnostic one. If parents follow the language, emotional and social milestones according to the age, then that is enough. Asking parents to look out for signs about autism only creates panic. So it is best to focus on what is healthy development. Any delay or deviance that is noticed can be worked upon. Seek help of professionals early on as a guide. Parents can do this job at home easily” .
Most importantly, parents must understand that their child’s disability is not the end of a tunnel. There is so much more to explore for the child in this world. It is important to guide them throughout the journey. Most importantly, do not fall for the negativity that people around you talks about regarding your child’s disability.
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