Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Recognizing Early Signs of Autism

above the ordinary... by several hundred milesImage by Norma Desmond via FlickrThere seems to be more and more children these days with developmental and learning problems. Have the risks increased or are we just getting better at diagnosing them? Autism is one such disorder that seems to be on the rise. That's why parents these days are so diligent in keeping track of their children's developmental milestones. We want to be assured that our children are normal and healthy. And if not, we understand the importance of early intervention. The quicker we get help, the higher the chances of our child improving.

So, do you know the early signs of autism?

Autistic children basically have problems in these areas:
  • Lack of communication and language problems - very quiet, limited vocabulary, delayed speech, don't smile or coo as babies.
  • Social impairment - they are in their own world, problems with eye contact and facial expression, unresponsive when you try to connect with them.
  • Repetitive body movements and behaviors such as hand flapping.
  • They may show a fanatical obsession over a certain topic or fixate on certain parts of an object. For example: staring at the ceiling fan or hours turning a switch on and off.
  • Hyper sensitive to touch, sound, smells or taste - some don't like to be hugged or are irritated by certain types of clothing. Loud sounds can be distressing too.
  • Cannot stray away from routines
These are just some signs to look out for. However, autism can be manifested at different levels of intensity and there are different types too. Yes, it just makes the disorder all the more complicated. There are 5 disorders commonly categorized as being on the autism spectrum.
  • Classic autism
  • Asperger's symdrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
If you find your child displaying some of these early sign of autism, take action quickly.
More information when you get THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO AUTISM.

For Malaysians, you can seek more help at NASOM TeleAutism.

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2 comments:

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  2. Useful little primer. We know someone whose child has been diagnosed with autism and, as you say, early action can be crucial: Lots of therapies and interventions can be tried and progress can be made.

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