The Early Signs Of Autism

Children with autism exhibit developmental differences in their behaviour, social and language skills as they reach their second birthday. Some of them sit, crawl or walk on time, but changes in the progress in their language, body gestures and avoidance of eye contact often go unnoticed by parents. Along with these early signs of autism in children, they display other behavioural differences such as loss of interest while interacting with peers.

Identifying The Signs Of Autism

Children on the spectrum lack in social, communication, and behavioural skills. Some of the symptoms of autism or differences in their conduct that need immediate attention are:

1. Social Differences 

  • Make little or no eye contact when addressed
  • Fail to decipher facial expressions and gestures
  • Do not point out objects of personal interest
  • Do not show appropriate facial expressions
  • Show concern or empathy for others
  • Prefer to stay alone even when in a group
  • Uninterested in making friends

2. Communication Differences 

Some of the early signs of autism in children that indicate a lack of communication skills are:

  • Do share things such as toy and games with others
  • Do not speak single word/words, even when they complete16 months of age
  • Imitate or repeat exactly what they hear or see (parroting or echoing) without understanding the meaning
  • Do not respond when called by name
  • Show no desire to communicate or take part in a conversation
  • Do not indulge in ‘pretend play’ using toys to represent people around them
  • Some children have a good rote memory for numbers and can easily memorize songs or advertisements aired on radio or TV

Some of the children go into regression and lose their language and other social milestones, between the ages of 15 and 24 months, if not treated.

3. Behavioural Differences – Repetitive, Compulsive or Obsessive Behaviors

Obsessive and repetitive behaviour disorder is considered an anxiety disorder that individuals with autism experience through repetitive thought and action. Some of the behavioural disorders that differ from person to person are:

  • Rocking, hand-flapping, finger-flicking, walking on toes, jumping or twirling
  • Prefers a fixed routine. The slightest change or transition can upset them easily
  • Obsessed with parts of their toys (wheels of a car, neck or limbs of a doll) rather than the whole toy
  • Do not feel pain when hurt
  • Children with autism are sensitive to touch, sound, light, smell, and sound

There is no cure for autism. Still, various interventions help in diminishing the dire symptoms. For treating symptoms of autism such as social, behavioural and communication (verbal/non-verbal) skills, successful approaches and trained therapists are required. Therapies like occupational therapy, applied behavioural analysis, speech therapy, and art therapy are some of the main tools for building lost skills.

Author: autismconnectassociation

Autism Connect is a voluntary group based in Mumbai, India formed by parents and professional care-takers of children on the autism spectrum. Parenting and caring for a child with autism is a special responsibility in itself. There are doubts, questions and uncertainties in our minds. At Autism Connect, we endeavor to collect literature on evidence based practices (with special emphasis on newer emerging therapies) in the management of autism and share it with autism associations and organizations across the world with the hope that these associations disseminate and distribute this to their members and parents of children with autism.

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