Autism is one of the fastest growing neurological disorders, with as many as one in every 95 children diagnosed with the disorder. Autism signs vary among individuals, of course, but there are some common characteristics that you should watch for. Children with autism have trouble relating to others, sometimes markedly so. The nuances most people pick up on during social interaction elude them to the point where they become very socially disabled indeed, and can become extremely isolated. With early intervention, autism can be managed quite well, sometimes with few effects depending on the severity of the original disorder and the age at which the child was diagnosed.
First noticing autism signs
Most professionals think that autism begins while still in utero, but it can be difficult to see these signs when children are very, very young. By about the age of three, though, there are many common characteristics definitely present; many parents will also often think that there is simply “something wrong” in a vague sort of way with their child at a much earlier age.
Early intervention is key
Following are some signs you should be concerned about in your child that may not just be “developmental” or “a stage.” Early intervention is key, so if you suspect your child may have autism based upon one of the following symptoms, get him or her to a doctor for diagnosis as soon as possible. The earlier the intervention, the more successful it is.
Autism signs in very young children
Even in infancy, many children with autism don’t like to be held and in general have an aversion to being touched. They may also lack the ability to establish or be very uncomfortable with eye contact. Even babies as young as six months old like the game of “peekaboo,” and if your child does not like these types of games or doesn’t seem to be able to engage, this should be a sign of concern within a few months of age.
Autism signs at older ages
As a child grows older, he or she should become more verbal and should begin to speak. Yet, if your child can’t say simple words or phrases (and doesn’t seem to make the normal cooing or babbling sounds most babies make) by the age of several months to a year old, it’s also a sign of concern. In some cases, parents often think their children may have hearing difficulties, but the hearing itself appears to be selective. That is, they obviously react to some sounds just fine, but don’t seem to be able to hear others.
Alternatively, these children also often exhibit what’s called “echolalia,” in which they mimic exactly the sounds or words they hear, in pitch, tone, etc. This is different than the type of mimicry young children do when they’re learning how to speak, since it appears to be mere repetition as one might hear from a recording instead of an actual attempt to speak.
Other autistic behaviors
Autistic children also exhibit intensive concentration on specific things, especially mechanical things; they may also exhibit so-called “isms,” whereby they engage in repetitive movements, tongue clicking, et cetera.
Possible causes of autism
The actual causes of autism are not known, although most suspect it’s a neurological disorder that begins in utero. Some have suspected infection, certain vaccination combinations, or being ill at very young ages with high fevers may also contribute to the onset of autism. Still other causes are purported to be immune system response to allergies, et cetera. As yet, though, no definitive actual cause has been found.
Getting autism signs diagnosed and treated
With early intervention, children can significantly improve their ability to relate to others. Although most children with autism will have some residual effects, they will significantly improve their ability to relate to others and may even be able to live on their own once older and function very well, even living normal or nearly normal lives. Most children with autism, contrary to popular belief, are not completely isolated and do not “live in a world of their own,” especially if they are given early and intensive treatment.
Source by Jon Arnold
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