Autism is a very common neurodevelopment disorder, but according to experts, each case of autism is different. However, I think life for autistic children is pretty much the same. Many avoid them or don’t want to be friends with them as they are viewed as “odd” children. And, obviously, as a parent, it would hurt you the most if your kid had to live such a life.
Well, the best way to prepare your kid and prevent such horrible things from taking place in their lives, here are the signs of autism you should look out for.
I know we’ve always heard that autism cannot be diagnosed until the age of three, but some experts have been able to prove that some children can display signs of possible autism way before being three years old.
- If the kid smiles rarely or doesn’t smile at all. Research tells us that newborns will usually smile a lot around 6 to 12 weeks as this phase represents an exciting time for their development. But, if you noticed that your kid is not smiling or even giving a small grin, I think it’s time for you to take it seriously.
- A newborn will spend a lot of time looking at you when you are holding him/her and keeping that eye contact. But, limited or no eye contact at all is a sign of autism.
- At this stage, a baby’s facial and visual recognition is developing and improving and that’s when they will start to express their feelings such as contentment and excitement – in other words, you’ll have to expect a cuteness explosion from a 9-month-old baby. However, if there’s a lack of warm, engaging and joyful expressions from your baby, then it could be a sign of you-know-what. If you haven’t seen your baby smiling in his/her sleep or giggling at all, you need to take some action as soon as possible.
- Smiles are the key factors driving the developmental milestones of babies. Usually, a 9-month-old baby should smile in response when you are stroking his/her cheek or belly or in response to sweet tastes and smells. If that’s not the case, I’m afraid you need a doctor’s help.
- If you have a 12-months-old baby at home, sit and observe him/her. You’ll notice that most of the times, they’ll be pointing to show you things. I promise if you watch a 12-months-old baby for one hour only, you’ll be tired at the hundreds of things they’ll be pointing out to. Kids at this phase will want to show you what they see with their eyes. However, children on the autism spectrum are known for their lack of “protodeclarative pointing.”
- Even if a kid is only 12-months-old, if you call their name from behind, they are more likely to respond and look at you. But, a child with autism will lack this kind of response. And, please before you start panicking, make sure it’s not just a small hearing problem.
- When my daughter was a newborn, she spent a lot of time screaming and babbling, which is very common for 12-months-old babies. But, little or no babbling and shouting can also be a sign of autism in children.
- I don’t know for you, but I said my very first words at the age of 12 months. Of course, that varies between individuals, but autism is often said to make children talk less or not at all.
- As the days turned into weeks and months and if your kid is still not babbling, shouting or cooing, then, there’s a problem. If you notice that she/he isn’t responding when you are calling out his/her name or when people are talking or playing with her, then it’s time for a doctor’s visit.
- A kid with autism would usually play with her toys in a very unusual or weird way. For example, there are some kids who would stick one end of their dolls in their mouth and “play” with their dolls using their mouths. Others would just have an oral fixation with a particular toy.
- A sign of autism in a kid would be a lack of enthusiasm. For instance, on his/her first birthday, you might have set up beautiful decorations and bought a huge cake, but your kid seems to have no interest at all in even looking at it.