Autism is a neurodevelopmental spectrum disorder whose symptoms range from mild to severe. It can affect anyone regardless of socioeconomic stature, ethnicity, and age. Nevertheless, males are more likely (up to four times) to develop autism than females. Here is some more information on the early warning signs of autism:
Early Warning Signs of Autism
An autistic child may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
• Avoiding eye contact
• Minimal or no social interaction
• Failure to respond to his/her own name though not deaf
• Obsessive interests
• Rocking body or spinning in circles
• Minimal or no danger awareness
• Lack of empathy
• Repetitive use of words and phrases
• Tendency to be alone most of the time
• Responding to questions with unrelated answers
• Easily upset by minor changes
• Lack of interest in “pretend games”
• Oversensitivity to external stimuli related to smell, taste, feel, look, and sound.
Other common symptoms include:
• Regular meltdowns
• Unusual behaviors or interests
• Unusual sleep habits
• Short attention spans
• Self-injury tendencies
• Extreme phobias and anxiety
Diagnosing autism in children is not easy because most appear normal up to two years of age. However, medical experts have come up with ways of identifying autism in toddlers. A good example is the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F), which is a risk assessment tool parents can use to diagnose ASD in children 16 to 30 months of age.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges all parents to ensure their children undergo ASD screening anywhere from 18 to 24 months of age. You can do so by submitting a request for free developmental screening to your State Department of Health.
An Overview of Developmental Screening
In simple words, developmental screening is a short test administered to a child to determine the level of his/her basic learning skills. Screening should occur at 9, 18 and 24 to 30 months of age.
Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation
Children who show signs of ASD thorough comprehensive diagnostic evaluation that may include neurological, medical and should undergo genetic testing to determine precisely where the symptoms lie on the autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, parents of such children should have a good grasp of autism signs such as social awkwardness, hyperactivity, and lack of empathy is necessary. In cases where children show autism signs, comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is highly recommended.
Follow us for more articles and ideas on health and medical topics.