How to identify autism early to avoid complications

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the way children interact with the world. It is characterized by two main features: social communication and restricted and repetitive behavioral patterns. Statistics suggest that autism affects at least 1 in 65 children between the ages of 2 and 9 in India. Autism is also more common in males than females.

Know the common signs of autism.

One of the most common complaints for caregivers of autistic children is delayed and mixed language development. There is a delay or regression in spoken language The use of language in communication is limited. Responding when called Enjoyment with caregivers eye contact during communication and the use of pointing as a means of communication These behaviors are often missing in children with autism.

autistic child
Recognize early signs of autism. to avoid complications Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Autistic children prefer to play alone with a lack of involvement in social play with others. They may only use other people as tools or “mechanical” assistance, such as using the caregiver’s hand to get what they need without meeting their eyes. Fixed or repetitive behaviors such as hand flicking, swaying, or spinning around in circles are common features of children with autism. He or she insists on the same routine. and resist change Unusual or repetitive play Often found in children with autism, such as opening and closing doors. Turning lights on and off by paying too much attention to object parts, such as toy car wheels.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your child respond to your name?
  • Does your child prefer playing alone rather than playing with others?
  • Does your child use their index finger to show something?
  • Has your child ever shown you a toy?
  • Is your child pretending to play?

autism red flag

Here are the red flags of autism you should know to avoid complications:

  • poor response to name calling at 1 year old
  • Lack of pointing at objects within 14 months
  • Absence of pretend play within 18 months
  • no meaningful words at 18 months old
  • fixed activity pattern
  • Decreased interactions with friends
  • Has strange movement patterns or repetitive behaviors
  • ADHD
  • walk on foot
  • Repeating Words and Phrases (Echolalia)
autistic child
Spotting the red flags of autism is a must! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Get screened for autism in children at an early age.

If you think your child is autistic or thinks there may be a problem with your child’s way of playing, speaking, learning, or acting, contact your pediatrician as soon as possible and share your concerns. you They should be properly evaluated and screened by a pediatrician. and referral to a child development specialist if necessary. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) recommend screening for autistic children, especially in children. 18 and 24 months, as these are critical times for Early social and language development All pediatricians should assess and screen for autism at this age.

There are many tools available for screening and diagnosing autism. Adapted Checklist for Autism in Toddlers Modified by follow-up (M-CHAT-R/F) is the most studied and widely used tool for screening toddlers with autism. It is a free and downloadable questionnaire (in several languages) that parents must complete. which takes about 10 minutes to complete. Use a simple scoring process based on pass/fail entries.

If your child is autistic It is important to diagnose him/her as soon as possible. That way they can get early help and support. Most children with mild to moderate autism can be treated with appropriate interventions.

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