Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Six Early Signs of Autism (Guest Blog)


Six Early Signs of Autism
It seems that cases of autism are becoming more prevalent in today's society. Whether more people have autism or it's just easier to diagnosis, parents worry about noticing this condition early. Here are six signs you can look for in your child:

1. Verbal Communication
This is a huge component of early autism detection. Help Guide's article "Autism Symptoms and Early Signs," states that a child who is not babbling by 12 months old should be evaluated. No spoken words by the age of 16 months is another sign that your child may have autism. Other issues can account for these delays, so it is important to have an evaluation conducted by a specialist and not to worry unnecessarily.

2. Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication skills are also major indicators of whether or not your child shows autistic tendencies. Children with autism generally avoid eye contact and do not use many gestures in their speech. Additionally, the facial expressions they do use often negate what they’re saying, and they can have difficulties in reading the facial expressions of other individuals. Autistic children can also have a low tolerance for loud sounds, so be aware of your child’s reaction to noise.

3. Not Being Flexible
Another component of autism is the inability to deviate from a particular schedule. When something is out of place or done out of order, a child with autism can become rather upset. These individuals also like to keep physical objects arranged neatly, and they often have an obsessive need to do so. When an object is taken out of order or something is done that is different from the general routine, severe reactions, such as a tantrum, may erupt as a result.

4. Not Noticing
On the other side of being super sensitive to sounds, some babies may be out of touch with other elements of the senses. For example, Early Signs of Autism's article "Possible Warning Signs of Developmental Delay-Birth to 12 Months," states that a baby with autism may not notice loud noises at three months of age and/or may not notice his or her own hands by two months of age.

5. Physical Signs
There are also physical signs that your baby may have autism. A baby who seems stiff or floppy at seven months old could have autism, and babies who are developing regularly are generally able to move their eyes around at an early age. Babies with autism may develop new skills but then lose them.

6. Emotional Delays
Another category can be found in emotional delays. Babies who have autism may not reach out for their caregiver or seem disinterested in showing affection.

All of these and more can be early signs of autism. However, it's best to not go into panic mode. There are a range of reasons why a young one could be showing these symptoms, and many of the issues have answers.

Bethany Heisal is a nursing assistant and loves rock climbing and writing. She’s a contributing author for creditreport.org

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