Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Autism Symptoms in Infants and Toddlers

Autism is a multifaceted brain disorder that influences a lot of aspects in a child's progress, which includes his social, motor and communication skills. The good news is, there are many ongoing studies which seek to understand autism. Experts say that early detection and treatment of autism is vital. There is increasing evidence that it's possible to detect autism in infants because early intervention can make a big difference in minimizing the symptoms and any other negative impact of the disorder, it is imperative for parents to understand autism's signs and symptoms.

The symptoms of autism are normally noticeable by 18 to 36 months, and other mild symptoms may be apparent earlier than that; even during infancy. Therefore, parents should closely monitor or track their child's progress. If the symptoms are identified by 12 months of age or earlier, rigorous treatment may reverse the signs.

Symptoms at the onset are easier to overlook primarily because it entails the lack of normal behaviors; and not the existence of abnormal ones. For instance, most babies with autism normally don't reach out to get toys, or make signals to get your attention. Most parents misinterpret autism symptoms as signs of being a "good baby," because the baby is withdrawn and is not demanding. True, a baby with those characteristics are easy to take care of, but these signs are some of the warnings that parents should be vigilant of.

What exactly are symptoms that parents should look out for?

Here are some warning signs that you should watch for to ensure that your child is developing at a normal rate:

  • One of the first signs of autism is if the baby does not look, make eye contact, or turn after hearing their name.
  • If the baby doesn't smile in response.
  • If the baby doesn't mimic what you're doing.
  • If the baby doesn't make attempts to talk (gibberish, babbling)
  • If the baby is not visually attracted to things.

Here are signs to watch out for toddlers:

  • If the child is having difficulty communicating his needs.
  • If the child suddenly stops to make attempts to talk.
  • If the child has trouble developing his language skills.

It's normal for a parent to become worried once they see their child manifest these symptoms. If you have observed these signs from your infant or toddler, it's prudent for you to make an appointment with your health provider. Actually, it's best if you'll have your child undergo screening even though he seems to develop normally.

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For a very helpful resource see autism symptoms.

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