Autism symptoms can be found in children all around the world and among all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but can be managed with early recognition and proper care.
Many children suffer from this puzzling and hard to diagnose disorder, and no parents want to think something is wrong with their child. Often well-meaning family members and friends will tell you that it’s just a phase the child is going through and it will pass, causing us to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. As the parent, you know your child better than anyone. If you suspect something is amiss, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s pediatrician.
Identifying Autism Symptoms
Have you noticed that your child doesn’t make eye contact with you, or they don’t respond when you call their name? Maybe when you pick them up to hold or cuddle with them they squirm and fight to get down. Has your child stopped saying words or never talked at all? Some children with autistic symptoms make repetitive movements such as flapping their hands and rocking back and forth, while others become extremely attached to objects such as articles of clothing or toys. Severe discipline problems due to frustration are another sign. Children with autism symptoms can show a lack of emotion such as affection or fear, yet may be violently afraid of loud noises. They are very literal and methodical with everything done the same way, every time. You may find that your child refers to him or herself in the third person, and may have difficulty in communicating what they need or want. Their topic of interest is very narrow, and they will talk about the same thing over and over, day after day, and will repeat what is said. A child with autism symptoms does not show interest in other children and is not social. Changes in their schedule or environment are not handled well.
What Can I Do?
If your child has autism symptoms, it won’t be easy to walk your child through the land-mines of evaluations and assessments. It’s a process, and one you should start early. Have your doctor give you a referral to the early intervention services. This is a federally funded program for infants and toddlers who display autism symptoms. Learn all you can because you are your child’s greatest advocate. And, never give up hope