Despite increased awareness, many children are still not diagnosed with autism until at least age four or when they are much older. So it is essential to treat with autism as soon as possible when early founded.
Unfortunately, there is no medical test to diagnose autism. Instead, it is diagnosed by observing the behaviors of the child, especially the specific behaviors that match the symptoms of autism. After years of research and experiences, researchers have summarized a series of behaviors which indicates the symptoms of autism in early stages. So, what are the signs? Let’s take a closer look!
The followings are typical signs of autism on children in an early age:
- Not babbling – babbling refers to the sounds that babies make before they begin to talk, such as “ba”, “da”, and “gee”. Twelve-month-olds should look at someone while they babble, and take turns babbling with caregivers.
- Not pointing – such as pointing to ask for things (pointing to the candy jar on the table) or pointing to get someone’s attention (pointing to a train crossing by).
- Not showing objects to parents – Common twelve-month-olds show interesting objects to their parents. If a child isn’t showing things to others, it may be an early sign of autism.
- Lack of other gestures – Besides pointing and showing, common twelve-month-olds children should also be reaching to be picked up, waving, and shaking their head.
- Lack of shared enjoyment – Shared enjoyment refers to a child’s desire to interact with others. A child rarely smiles or laughs in interaction with others is a symptom.
- Repetitive actions or movements – Such as children clapping their hands often or playing a toy inappropriately over and over again, these are the symptoms of autism and must be taken action of immediately.
- Poor eye contact – Does your child look at people when communicating or playing with them?
- Not following an adult’s pointed finger – A typical 12-month old will look when their father points to the television.
- Limited play with toys – A young child with autism may only engage with a small number of toys, or play with just a part of the toy rather than the whole toy.
- Not copying actions or sounds – Does your child imitate actions like sounds of a song or specific behaviors of yours?
- Not responding to his or her name when called – Young children with autism don’t respond when their name is called even though their hearing is fine. This is due to difficulties with paying attention and understanding language.
In conclusion, there are two main aspects that you should look for in your child: Social communication and Behavior. If your child has any of the symptoms, treatment is inevitable. But the good thing is, autism is treatable. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it will be treated. Therefore, there is nothing for you to worry about!