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If autism is diagnosed in infancy, the treatment regime can take the utmost advantage of brain plasticity due to the young age of the child. Although autism is hard to diagnose before a period of 24 months, symptoms often surface 12th month onwards. In case, the signs of autism are detected by 18 months of age, intensive treatment may help to even reverse the symptoms and gift a normal lifestyle to the child.

Identify Autism in Toddlers

There are certain red flags, which have been outlined and should be taken as an indication that your child may be at risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder. In some cases, the earliest symptoms of autism are misinterpreted as signs of a “well-behaved child”, since the infant may seem quiet and undemanding. However, these signs can help you know what to look out for:

  • No expression of joy and/or smile on your baby’s face by six months or thereafter.
  • No sharing of sound, smiles or other facial expression at the end of nine months.
  • No sharing of gestures such as pointing, showing or reaching towards any object, even after one year of age.
  • No babbling or saying meaningful words by the end of two years.
  • Any loss of skills such as babbling, social response, no response by the age of 2 years.
  • No personal interest in interaction, playing, or any involvement in any activity till the age of 2 years.
  • No emotional response towards cuddling and/or no eye contact. It has been noted that an autism child will behave in a different way.
  • Do not make eye contact or smiling response when being fed or called.
  • Do not make baby noises to attract attention.
  • Do not notice if the other person is experiencing discomfort.

How to Spot Autism in Older Children?

As children get older, many warning signs and symptoms evolve around difficulties in social skills, speech, non-verbal communication, and behavior.

Social Skill Issues

  • Appears disinterested or unaware of their environment.
  • Doesn’t know how to interact with relatives and peers.
  • Prefers not to be hugged or cuddled.
  • Has difficulty in understanding or sharing feelings.
  • Doesn’t share or talk about their interests with others.

Difficulty in Speech and Language

  • Speaks in an abnormal or odd voice, with an unusual rhythm.
  • Repeats words or phrases without intent.
  • Responds to a question by repeating it without understanding
  • Has difficulty communicating personal needs or desires
  • Doesn’t understand simple directions or statements.
  • Does not understand subtle humor or sarcasm in sentences.

Difficulty in Non-Verbal Communication

  • Avoids eye contact.
  • Facial expressions don’t match with statements.
  • Doesn’t mimic other people’s facial expressions or gestures.
  • Makes very few gestures to communicate.
  • Reacts unusually to sights, smells, textures, and sounds.
  • Abnormal posture, clumsiness, or unusual movements.

Inflexibility in Behavior

  • Follows a rigid routine.
  • Has difficulty adapting to any changes in the environment.
  • Shows obsessiveness or unusual attachments to toys or particular objects.
  • Shows signs of preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest.
  • Spends long periods watching iterative moving objects such as a ceiling fan.
  • Repeats the same actions or movements over and over again.

Hand Stimming

  • Flapping hands
  • Flickering fingers
  • Holding fingers or hands out at an angle
  • Snapping fingers

If you are the parent of a child suffering from Autism, you’re in the best position to spot the early warning signs of autism. You can rely on a pediatrician for valuable advice but you are the one who is more familiar with your child’s behavior and quirks. It is never too late to educate yourself about the symptoms to look out for. If your child is not meeting the developmental milestones with proper age, it is advisable to share your concerns with the pediatrician urgently. Ideally, a pediatrician will take your concerns seriously and work towards a thorough evaluation for autism or other developmental issues. But if the doctor misses some red flags or deems your concerns insignificant, and yet your gut-feeling says something is wrong, go-ahead for a second opinion, or approach a child development specialist.

If you are looking for stem cell therapy for autism or any other diseases, connect with Advancells at [email protected]. You can also give us a call on +91-9654321400 for your inquiries, Stay In Touch.

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