Thursday, August 25, 2011

Autism Diagnosis and Treatment in Infants

Those concerned with autism treatment often want to know how early you can legitimately diagnose a child or infant with autism. Now, opinions are certainly split, and there is no definitive answer, but some do say that there are some signs to watch for in your infant.

Autism is hard to diagnose before 2 years of age, but babies can start showing symptoms between 12 and 18 months of age. Mostly, you want to be aware of what the developmental milestones for each age are, and pay attention to make sure they attain them. Missing milestones is a good clue to potential problems.

If your infant does not respond to cuddling, and seems to stiffen in your arms and try to get away from you, that could be a possible sign (or you could just have a finicky baby). If your infant doesn't look at you when being fed, or reach out to be held, these are also signs.

Other Possible Warning Signs of Autism In Infants

Here are some other early signs of autism in babies and toddlers:

  • If your baby does not smile at you when you smile at him
  • Your infant does not respond to cuddling or they do not reach out and want to be picked up
  • Not looking at you when you are feeding her
  • Not responding to his name or to the sound of a familiar voice
  • Won't follow objects or focus on them with his eyes as you move them around
  • Not using gestures such as pointing or waving goodbye
  • Not recognizing gestures you use such as not looking at an object that you point to
  • Not realizing that if he makes noise, he will get your attention
  • Lack of imitation of facial expressions or lack of imitation of your hand or body movements
  • When you pick her up she does not reach out to you to express the desire to be held

If by a year old, your baby does not respond to their name, does not babble or engage in "baby talk," and does not point to things to show you, then this also warrants an evaluation by a doctor.

Is there such a thing as autism treatment for infants?

Well, some researchers think so. One of the most important elements of the infant experience is the mother-child bond. If an infant is not attuned to this bond or is trying to avoid the bond because of certain sensory issues, then they could miss out on important social development steps later on.

So what can you do to help your autistic infant gain social development skills?

You can change the environment so that it promotes interaction, such as eye contact and babbling. You make the infant feel as comfortable as possible. That means it needs to be as quiet as possible, no bright lights, mobiles and other such things may be visually overwhelming, fragrances could be overwhelming, and start slow.

Assume that your infant is being bombarded by sensory information, and try to minimize that so they can focus on you instead of it. Touch your infant very gently and slowly. If you do this, there is a greater chance the infant will be learning the social information that they should be attuned to.

Diagnosing and treatment of autism in infants is hard to do, but not impossible.

And parents should learn as much as you can about infants and treatment of autism. Tips from other parents and professionals can be extremely helpful. A great site that has tips and suggestions for additional treatments is the There you can sign up for their FREE newsletter with tips and info on autism.

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