Autism is growing more and more common throughout the US. In a recent study conducted by the CDC, it was estimated that 1 out of every 100 child in the country is autistic. Although many younger married couples and parents are more concerned about over population than they were during the Baby Boomer generation, Autism has now become a concern for many of the ones who want to have a family.
What’s important is that you should always be monitoring your child’s behavior to see if any of the early signs of Autism are present. Even the youngest of children can be diagnosed at an early age. Research has proven that the earlier the child is diagnosed and a treatment is prescribed, the better the long-range outcome will be. So what exactly do you need to watch for? Here are some of the warning signs that you should be looking for, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:
- - The child does not speak a single word by the time they reach 16 months of age.
- - The child is not babbling, not making any meaningful or noticeable gestures, and not pointing by the time they are 12 months old.
- - They begin to lose both language and social skills.
- - They do not interact with others or smile
- - They do not start putting two words together by the time they are two years old.
- - They don’t respond to their names.
- - They don’t seem to know how to play with their toys.
- - They focus more on lining up objects and their toys rather than other, more important issues.
- - They focus obsessively on only one object or toy
- - They maintain poor eye contact if any at all.
- - They occasionally appear to be hearing-impaired
Although there be other Autism warning signs to be aware of, the ones above are the primary indicators of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What’s important to remember is that there are numerous explanations for the majority of these warning signs listed above.
For instance, the fact that the child is attached to one particular object or toy in itself (see point #9 above), is not a definitive sign of Autism. Conversely, a child with excellent communication, language, and reading skills can still be diagnosed as being Autistic. As an example, there are numerous children today who have been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, another form of Autism, that have exception skills in these key areas. Even children who display exceptional language skills have been diagnosed with Autism.
The diagnosis of Autism is based on a process of interviewing the parents while at the same time observing the child. This is done in order to make the right diagnosis and prescribe the proper course of treatment. Additionally, sufficient research has also revealed that in many cases of Autism, certain correlations have been found between Autism and specific physical issues. What is important is that you acquire all the knowledge that you possibly can regarding Autism so that you will be better equipped to deal with the situation.