Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diagnosing Autism at Home - Treat it Early!

People with autism often have problem with social development, a key characteristic that separates autism from other developmental disorders in the world today. Social communication is one of the key things that you need to look out for when trying to detect autism at home and ensure that your child gets treatment early before it becomes a serious problem that stays within the cortex when they become young adults.

Social impairments actually do appear quite early in their childhood and it is up to you to use the powers of observation and daily interaction to ensure that your child does not have any sort of autism. One of the best ways to see (especially if your child is an infant), is to try methods of social stimulation with them. A normal infant without developmental disorder will respond to stimuli quite normally, especially when responding to their own name and recognising familiar people around them. Infants with autism show much less attention to these aspects, smiling less, looking away and sometimes, they do not even respond to their own name.

They also avoid plenty of eye contact and will often bury their face in a blanket or pillow to hide from the world. These are just some of the tell tale signs to look out for to ensure that your infant child does not have autism. When they get older, there are other things to look out for. A normal child of that age is usually quite spontaneous, friendly, energetic and will try to make friends when introduced to other children within the same age range. Children who are 2 - 5 years old that have autism will be more introverted and much more clingy to their parents and guardians. They would have formed a fierce and strong bond with their loved ones and drawn a circle of safety that does not allow other people to come on.

They cannot fathom social situations, have no idea of the aspects of social understanding and they would limit their communication to non verbal actions like touching of the arm. Also, if you notice that your child is severely lacking in developing natural speech or any linguistic capabilities to support communication, than more than likely your child is autistic. Their reliance on non verbal communication is a tell tale sign that they are indeed autistic and have not adequately developed their verbal communication skills.

Of course when we are discussing autism, the normal repetitive behaviour, illogical insistence on things, fixation upon a particular object, stereotype and self injury are the tell tale signs that something is wrong and something needs to be done soon. Other symptoms might include malnutrition because of strange eating habits and poor psycho motor development. If you do have any fears that your child might be autistic, it is a good idea to get him or her professionally appraised by a child psychologists so that treatment and therapy can begin early so as to avoid more serious symptoms from cropping up.

MindMatters Psychology Practice provides child development support services for children and young adults. They also provide an Autism Test [] for children.

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