How to spot the signs of Autism early on

How to spot the signs of Autism early on

20 September 2019 Admin General Media

As a parent, you want the best for your children. Receiving a special needs diagnosis could be a hard time for both you and your precious bundle. It is important to know that catching autism early on – ideally by the age of eighteen months – could make a huge difference. The right treatment can reduce the disorder’s effects and help your child learn, grow, and thrive.


What is autism and how to diagnose it?

Autism expresses itself through a spectrum of symptoms. Autism spectrum disorder appears in infancy and early childhood, causing delays in many basic areas of development, such as learning to talk, play, and interact with others. The signs and symptoms of autism vary widely. Some children have only mild impairment, while others have more obstacles to overcome. However, every child on the spectrum has problems, at least to some degree in the following three areas:

  • Communicating verbally and non-verbally
  • Relating to others and the world around them
  • Thinking and behaving flexibly

There are different opinions among doctors, parents, and experts about the cause of autism. However, everyone agrees that early and intensive interventions can help children at risk and those who show early signs.


How parents can spot early signs of Autism

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else and can spot behaviors or quirks that could be the earliest warning signs of autism. They key is to educate yourself so you know what’s normal and what’s not. Here is how parents can spot the early signs of autism:

  1. Monitor your child’s development

A child with autism experiences a variety of developmental delays. It is important to keep an eye on the same and see if your child is meeting the key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones. While developmental delays don’t automatically point to autism, they may indicate a heightened risk.


  1. Take action if you’re worried

Every child develops at a different pace. Therefore, you need not panic if your child is a little late to talk or walk. When it comes to healthy development, there’s a wide range of what is considered normal. But if your childis not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or you suspect a problem, meet your child’s doctor immediately.


  1. Don’t wait and watch

If you have any doubts and well-meaning family or friends ask you to wait and watch, don’t pay heed to this advice. You risk losing valuable time at an age where your child has the best chance for improvement. Whether the delay is caused by autism or some other factor, developmentally delayed kids are unlikely to grow out of their problems. They may need extra help and targeted treatment to see an improvement.


  1. Trust your instincts

Listen to your gut feeling if it’s telling you something is wrong. Schedule your doctor’s appointment and raise your concerns. If need be, take a second opinion, or ask for a referral to a child development specialist.

Although it may be hard to diagnose autism before 24 months of age, symptoms often surface between 12 and 18 months. If signs are detected by 18 months of age, intensive treatment may help to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms. You can catch warning signs early if you know what to look for.