Autism can be described as a complex developmental disability that reduces the quality of life of the affected individual. The experts are of the opinion that this disorder presents itself during the first three years of a child’s life and this neurological disorder adversely affects the normal brain function. Advanced research studies have shown that parents can pick up the signs of autism in a baby under 4 months age and more visible signs can be identified by the age of eighteen months. If you can find out the earliest signs of autism as soon as possible, the treatment becomes more effective and the recovery process also becomes faster and effective as well.
Symptoms may vary from child to child but identifying the symptoms early is the key
Nobody can guarantee that two people with autism will show exactly the same symptoms. Some children may show severe symptoms while some others may display mild symptoms. Generally speaking, non-verbal communication issues can always be associated with people with autism and they also have to deal with reduced social interaction skills. Doctors, parents and experts have come up with different types of opinions as far as the symptoms are concerned but they unanimously say that early detection and intervention always contribute towards making the treatment highly effective. Here are the earliest signs of autism:
- Not responding to loud noises
Many children with autism do not respond loud noises in a proper manner and you can identify this symptom by the age of 3 months. Although many people associate the inability to respond to loud noises with hearing loss or deafness, it can be described as a major sign of autism, especially at a tender age.
- Not smiling at people
Children by the age of six months usually smile back at you when you give them a good smile. Lack of smiling or happy expressions even after six months can be described as a major sign of autism.
- Not imitating the sounds or social clues
It is always advisable to check whether your child imitates the movements and sounds of others because normal children imitate social clues like sounds, facial expressions or laughter when they become 8 to 9 months old. Children with autism show reduced imitation of social clues and it can be considered as an early indicator of autism.
- Poor eye contact
Limited eye contact can always be associated with autism and children with developmental disability make poor eye contact with other people. Eye contact is a form of communication and comprehension and, the neurological disorder known as autism limits the ability of the children to follow objects visually.
- Delayed babbling and cooing
Healthy children always start cooing and babbling at a tender age (by 12 months) and this baby talk can never be associated with babies suffering from autism. Unwanted delay in babbling and cooing can be considered as one of the earliest signs of autism.
- Not holding objects properly
Children, who suffer from autism, do not grasp and hold objects properly and even if they hold some objects, they fall down immediately. You need to find out whether your child is experiencing any difficulty in grasping or holding objects.
- Increasing unresponsiveness to name
When you child becomes 6 months to 12 months old, he/she becomes responsive to his/her name and if it does not happen, you have to monitor your child closely. Many parents consider it as a hearing loss but it can be a sign of autism. When you find this tendency in your children, you have to consult a doctor immediately.
- Repetitive behaviors and strange body postures
Children with autism display repetitive behaviors and they include stiffening legs, arms or hands. These children also show strange body movements like rotating wrists or hands and they always stand or sit in strange or uncommon body postures. You should always watch out for these symptoms at a tender age itself.
- Not trying to get attraction through actions
Healthy children always try to catch attraction by making noises or initiating cuddling but lack of interest in seeking parents’ or dear ones’ attraction can be found in children with autism. The basic problem is the inability to relate to others and as they grow up, this problem becomes more and more complicated.
- Reduced ability for gesturing
A 9 or 10 month child always gesture at objects or people and it is a form of communication. They make efforts to reach out for objects and gestures like waving goodbye or pointing towards objects or shaking head can always be associated with normal children. On the other hand; reduced ability for gesturing can be found in children with autism and it can be described as one of the earliest signs of autism.
- Delay in motor development
Motor development milestones are a key factor in deciding the physical and mental health of children. Babies with autism always experience considerable delays in motor development milestones like pushing, crawling or rolling over and it is one of the most important indicators of autism in infants.
- Cannot stand when supported
Generally speaking, when your child becomes 12 months old, he/she should possess the ability to stand when supported. Children, who suffer from autism, cannot stand even if you support them and this inability can always be described as one of the most prominent signs of autism.
Other major signs of autism include not following simple instructions, not imitating your actions or words, the inability to reach out to be picked up, showing reluctance to play normal games and delayed age-appropriate language development and, all these signs always help you identify whether our child is suffering from autism. It can be said without an iota of doubt that you can find a combination of these symptoms in your child if he/she is suffering from autism. The bottom line is that if you cannot identify the earliest signs of autism, you cannot start the treatment at an early stage and such a situation can lead to complicated problems. According to the opinion of the experts, early detection and intervention of autism always makes the treatment more effective and the recovery process becomes highly result oriented as well.