Recognizing Autism in Children

There are as many as 1 in 100 to 150 children that may be autistic. April 2nd of 2008 was the first "World Autism Awareness Day" designated by the United Nations General Assembly. The parents should always keep an eye on your child for an extended period of time. Early intervention is critical for the best outcome in children with autism, so early diagnosis is very improtant, too. However, is it possible to reliably diagnose autism before 2 years old? The answer is yes. Actually, autism can be diagnosed while the baby is one and a half years old.

Autism is a complex developmental disorder. We don't know what causes autism for sure yet. Autism doesn't have a "cure" right now, the best way to prevent autism is early diagnosis and early treatment. Then how can parents recognize autism in their young child? There are several certain symptoms of autism that a baby shows early enough. The following three early signs of autism should be concerned:

  1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, like not responding to his/her own name, not imitating others, lacking of interests to friends, and so on.
  2. Presumably half of children with autism are slow to talk, some of them cannot speak until two or three years old, some of them can speak a few words, but cannot communicate with people normally. Besides, they mostly avoid eye contace while talking, and they often repeat what you said instead of responding or keep saying a sentence.
  3. Be attached to one particular toy or object, such as wheels, circular wooden sticks, and other things; Performs repetitive movements, like rocking, spinning or hand-flapping.

If a young child doesn't talk after one year old, preferring to crouch in a corner, demanding too much less of your attention, the parents shouldn't take on a "wait and see" stance , but voice some concerns to an expert of autism.

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