Monday, August 15, 2011

Autism in Infants - Are There Signs and Symptoms of Autism to Watch For in Infants?

With the growing awareness and recognition of the Autism epidemic in our society, more and more people now know someone affected by this developmental disorder.

According to experts and recent research, Autism can be detected and diagnosed by a well-trained professional by the time a child reaches 18-months of age. It is very difficult to determine if a child younger than this age is showing signs of Autism.

There are, however, normal developmental milestones that parents can monitor to ensure their infants and toddlers are developing at a normal rate. It is important to note that just because an individual child does not meet one or more of these milestones it does not mean the child has autism or any other disorder. All children will develop at different rates. If your child does not meet these milestones and you feel something may be wrong, your best bet is to consult your family physician and get your child tested further.

There are three major areas where Autism will present itself in children. These areas are social skills, communication and behavior. Let us examine each.

Social Skills: Your child should begin imitating words or gestures such as hello and goodbye before 18-months. A child with Autism might not accomplish this developmental milestone and may not participate in social games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake.

Behavior: Young children with autism will often develop repetitive motions. These are actions that the child repeats over and over. Some examples include flapping of the arms or repeated rocking from side to side. This is often referred to as stimming. Children with autism also often need to have routines. They need actions to be repeated in the same manor each time or each day.

Communication: About two out of five children with Autism do not talk. This is a major sign. Normally developing children typically start saying their first words around one-year of age. Many children with Autism will only repeat what is said to them, or will not speak at all. Some children start taking, then lose the ability or stop talking around 18-24 months.

As mentioned earlier in this article, it is important to remember that all children develop and different rates. If your child demonstrates one or more of these characteristics it does not mean your child has autism. It might mean that you need to discuss the subject with your family physician.

For more on Autism in Infants and young children and for other articles related to diagnosing autism, you should visit today!

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