I am worried…………..Is my child normal?
As a parent, you would obviously be very reluctant to believe that your precious bundle of joy is not behaving normally. However, you should as well understand that in a case of autism, early interventions, ideally by the end of 1 and half years can make huge differences in reducing the symptomatic expression of the disorder and to cope up with your child’s ability to learn, grow and interact.
You apparently are in the best position to spot any warning abnormalities, behaviors and quirks during an early developmental phase of your child. Although, your pediatrician is your valuable partner in evaluation; you should never discount the importance of your own observations, and the key is to educate yourself to distinguish abnormality from normal behavior.
Learn the early signs
The information shared herewith, can be referred as “red flags”, suggesting a child at a risk of autism; however, further evaluation is always very crucial as all children with autism don’t express all of them.
- By the age of six months, if your baby is not looking at you when being fed or doesn’t smile in return if smiled at; it should be noted immediately.
- By the age of nine months, if there is no sharing of a smile, vocal sounds, babbling, or any other non-verbal communication; then it is a point of concern.
- By the age of twelve month, if you are not being followed by your baby or he is not reaching out to you, to be picked up, if he is not using any gesture to initiate communication, or showing no interest in facial expression, communication, playing, etc.; don’t ignore the issue.
- If you kid appears to be very disinterested or not bothered about what is going on around him, is very reluctant to play with other kids of his age or make friends, if he/she doesn’t want to be touched, cuddled, pampered in front of other kids, or has very different approach towards playing games; you should immediately bring it to the notice of your pediatrician.
- If your child always speaks in an abnormal tone, like ending every sentence with questions or responds to your question with the same question repetition, or is using grammatically incorrect language, even at the age of 3 years; you should take an action.
Signs of inflexibility
- If you are sensing that you child is involved in a repetitive behavior, or is following a rigid routine, is not being adaptive towards the changes in the schedule and the environment; if you child is throwing tantrums or being irritable towards every change that he is being forced into; don’t ever adopt wait and see approach towards it.
If you really trust your instincts, your pediatrician will take your concerns very seriously and perform an early evaluation of stem cells for autism and other developmental disorders.