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Learn the Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism

Shia was verbal with limited language skills. She could sing in complete sentences but communicated using one or two-word phrases. She communicated mostly by pointing. When she did speak, her enunciation was poor except when she was angry at which time the word would be clear. She showed no interest in other children and her eye contact was poor. When her parents started noticing all her activities, they got scared. They thought she is mentally challenged and suffering from autism spectrum disorder.

The couple consulted doctors to identify the problem. Whereas the fact was that she is a ‘lone child’ at home. She doesn’t interact much with people around and enjoys her own company. Only after she joined a playgroup, she began imitating other children (speech and facial expressions) and exhibited more interactive play with others.

It’s quite common with kids not to speak in sentences at Shia’s age. What’s interesting in her case was that her parents were active enough to notice their daughter’s growth pattern in terms of behavior. Hence, they took a proper approach towards finding out the solution before it was too late to correct it. While there are parents who don’t even notice such things in their kids, which make kids suffer in long-term.

To help you all identify the problem in early stages, here in this article we are going to describe common symptoms of autism:

What is Autism?

Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex neuro-developmental disorders also known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by challenges related to: Communication, Social Interaction, and Restrictive or repetitive behaviors and interests.

Communication Difficulties

By age 3, most children have passed predictable milestones on the path to learning language; one of the earliest is babbling. By the first birthday, a typical toddler says words, turns when he hears his name, points when he wants a toy, and when offered something distasteful, makes it clear that the answer is “no.”

Some children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder remain mute throughout their lives. Some infants who later show autism symptoms coo and babble during the first few months of life, but they soon stop. Others may be delayed, developing language as late as age 5 to 9. Some children may learn to use communication systems such as pictures or sign language.

Many of those who do speak often use language in unusual ways. They seem unable to combine words into meaningful sentences. Some speak only single words, while others repeat the same phrase over and over. Some children with autism spectrum parrot what they hear, a condition called echolalia. It can be hard to understand what a child with autism spectrum disorder is saying; their body language is also difficult to understand. Facial expressions, movements, and gestures rarely match what they are saying.

Social Interaction

From the start, typically developing infants are social beings. Early in life, they gaze at people, turn toward voices, grasp a finger, and even smile. In contrast, most children with autism seem to have tremendous difficulty learning to engage in the give-and-take of everyday human interaction. Even in the first few months of life, many do not interact and they avoid eye contact. They seem indifferent to other people, and often seem to prefer being alone. They may resist attention or passively accept hugs and cuddling. To parents, it may seem as if their child is not attached at all.

Children with autism also are slower in learning to interpret what others are thinking and feeling. Subtle social cues—whether a smile, a wink, or a grimace—may have little meaning for them. Although not universal, it is common for people with autism also to have difficulty regulating their emotions. This can take the form of “immature” behavior such as crying in class or verbal outbursts that seem inappropriate to those around them. They may at times break things, attack others, or hurt themselves. In their frustration, some bang their heads, pull their hair, or bite their arms.

Restrictive or repetitive behaviors

Although children with autism usually appear physically normal and many have good muscle control, odd repetitive motions may set them off from other children. These behaviors might be extreme and highly apparent or more subtle. Some children and older individuals spend a lot of time repeatedly flapping their arms or walking on their toes. Some suddenly freeze in position.

As children, they might spend hours lining up their cars and trains in a certain way, rather than using them for pretend play. If someone accidentally moves one of the toys, the child may be tremendously upset.

Repetitive behavior sometimes takes the form of a persistent, intense preoccupation. For example, the child might be obsessed with learning all about vacuum cleaners, train schedules, or lighthouses. Often there is great interest in numbers, symbols, or science topics.

Once you spot the symptoms of autism in your child, as responsible parents, it is your duty to consult a doctor and start taking treatment as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the quality of life for children with autism spectrum disorder. Doctors may prescribe medications for treatment of specific ASD-related symptoms, and behavioral and other therapies can help with communication and behavior regulation. Learn more about treating and managing autism spectrum with expert advice from Dr Batra’s - https://www.drbatras.com/autism

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