Monday, December 26, 2011

The Many Signs of Autism

If you are the parent of a newborn or young child and are worried about them being autistic, you will be interested in knowing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded that as many as one child in every 100 may be suffering with Autism. It is recommended that you begin observing your child as early as possible. Research has proven that the earlier a child is professionally diagnosed with the disorder, the easier it will be to treat the disorder and have the prognosis for a good outcome.

So what are the signs of Autism that you should be looking for? According to the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), the following are the warning signs of the disorder that you should be looking for in order to determine the possibility of your child being affected:

- They are not babbling, making meaningful gestures, or pointing by the time they are a year old
- They do not interact joyfully with others or smile
- They do not respond to their name when called
- They do not seem to know or understand how to play with their toys
- They exhibit poor eye contact
- They get attached to one specific object or toy
- They haven't combined two words by the time they are 2 years old
- They haven't spoken one word by the time they have reached 16 months of age
- They line up objects or their toys
- They lose acquired language or social skills
- They oftentimes appear to be hearing impaired or ignoring you

Granted, there could be a number of other explanations besides Autism for any of the above behaviors. For instance, the fact that a child spends time lining up objects or toys or shows a significant attachment to a particular object or toy is not a definitive sign of the disorder being present. Conversely, a child with excellent language skills could still be diagnosed with Autism. In fact, it is known that children have extraordinary language and reading skills despite the fact that they have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Currently, there are other possible indicators of the disorder which is typically diagnosed by a process of interviewing the parents about the child and observing the child at the same time. However, a number of researchers have found several correlations between Autism and certain physical issues. In some instances, signs of Autism could be apparent could be present at birth.

The most important thing to remember is that observation of one's child is critical. If you are suspicious of your child being affected with the disorder and you are seeing what you feel are signs of Autism, consult your child's pediatrician or family physician immediately. Remember that the best course of action is to have the child diagnosed as early in life as possible. The sooner the child is diagnosed, the sooner they can start treatment and possibly witness a better outcome.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit

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