Autism is a variable condition. It is very confusing and even experts still can not quite agree whether someone is autistic or not. Add to this the problem of a wide spectrum of symptoms and conditions that might be mistaken for autism. Thus, it is often hard to really pin down if a child really does exhibit the signs.
However, there are behaviors that are widely considered autistic. You should be worried if your child exhibits the following once or she turns six months old:
– Babies learn to memorize the voice of their primary caretakers, so they respond to them by turning their heads when their voices are near or when they hear their names. Consistent failure to respond to these should be a cause of concern.
– A tell-tale sign of autism is a kid's resistance to physical affection. When being hugged, cuddled or kissed, autistic children will cry or throw tantrums. Sometimes, they do not shows of reaction at all.
– Is your child upset all the time for no apparent reason? That's probably an early warning sign of autism.
– Another classic sign of this condition is the avoidance of eye contact. Your kid may also have autism if he or she has deficiencies with joint attention. Quite simply, this means that your kid would, instead of look at a pointed object, look at the finger that points it.
– Not that they want to be alone, it's just that they are more focused on being friends with very few people. They also have difficulties making friends because of the communication barriers that affect them.
– Delayed speech development is a landmark of autism. Autistic kids, with the exclusion of those children who have Asperger syndrome, usually have delayed speech development. In exchange, many of them develop unusual gestures. Some of them, in fact, lose speech skills that they have already acquainted.
– They have difficulty starting and sustaining conversations as they lack the right faculties to communicate. They do not understand the nuances of communication. They also can not identify facial expressions and voice tone.
– Focusing is a good thing, but when your kid starts shutting out the entire world to focus his entire attention on a single object for long periods, you should be bothered.
– At a very early age, strict routines are not often observed. But with patients of this condition, routine is a large part of their life. In fact, they may engage in ritualistic and obsessive compulsive behaviors that may persist for quite a while as they are also quite resistive to changes. They tend to become upset when something changes in their schedule for example.
– Many autism behaviors have highly repetitive actions such as head banging, hand floating, winging, and rocking.
The signs of autism peaks at the 2nd or 3rd birthday of your kid. By this time, he or she would have developed all the classic symptoms of the condition. The problem with autism is that there is no remission and no cure. Thus, the condition will progress until proper interventions are initiated, but even these may not guarantee to fix the condition of the child.