Checklists Of Autism Signs
Through its Learn the Signs. Act Early campaign, the CDC aims to raise awareness of the early signs of developmental delay, including autism. Through a series of milestone checklists, the CDC provides information on what most babies do at different ages and which signs parents should discuss with their childs doctor. Milestones are included for children 2 months to 5 years of age, reflecting a belief among researchers that even infants may show early autism signs.
Early signs of autism or other developmental delays include the following:
Lack Of Eye Contact And Joint Attention
Joint attention refers to two people sharing a focus on the same object after one alerts the other to the item using verbal or nonverbal cues. For example, a parent or caregiver will point to a toy or tell the child about it, and the child will then look at the toy. Joint attention is an important way of connecting and interacting with other people.
According to a 2016 article in PLOS ONE , from about 9 months old, a baby should be able to make regular eye contact and share focus with their caregivers.
Autistic babies can find it challenging to pick up on these social cues and may ignore the person or the object that they are pointing out.
How Parents Can Spot The Warning Signs
As a parent, youre in the best position to spot the earliest warning signs of autism. You know your child better than anyone and observe behaviors and quirks that a pediatrician, in a quick fifteen-minute visit, might not have the chance to see. Your childs pediatrician can be a valuable partner, but dont discount the importance of your own observations and experience. The key is to educate yourself so you know whats typical and whats not.
Monitor your childs development. Autism involves a variety of developmental delays, so keeping a close eye on whenor ifyour child is hitting the key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones is an effective way to spot the problem early on. While developmental delays dont automatically point to autism, they may indicate a heightened risk.
Take action if youre concerned. Every child develops at a different pace, so you dont need to panic if your child is a little late to talk or walk. When it comes to healthy development, theres a wide range of typical. But if your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or you suspect a problem, share your concerns with your childs doctor immediately. Dont wait.
Regression of any kind is a serious autism warning sign
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Early Autism Signs: Social Differences
It can be difficult for children with autism to recognize and understand certain social cues. That means your kiddo may not intuitively know how to react to others in some social situations. Social differences may show up in the following ways:
Not responding when you smile at them
Not following your pointed finger to see what youre referring to
Not bringing objects of interest to show you, like a cool rock they found
Using inappropriate facial expressions, such as smiling when someones upset
Difficulty making or maintaining eye contact
Showing a lack of concern/empathy for others
Difficulty making and keeping friends
Support Strategies For Autism
Although theres currently no cure for ASD, there are a variety of options. The overall goal of support stratefies is to decrease ASD symptoms while increasing your childs quality of life and ability to function.
Several different types of professionals may be involved in support options, including doctors, psychiatrists, and speech-language pathologists. A support strategy will focus on addressing your childs specific needs.
support strategies for autism
Possible options include:
- Psychological therapy. This can include a myriad of different therapy types, including things like various types of behavioral therapy, educational therapy, and social skills training.
- Medications. Some medications can help address ASD symptoms, such as aggression or hyperactivity.
- Speech and language therapy. This type of therapy can help a child improve their speech and verbal communication skills.
- Occupational therapy. A therapist will help your child gain everyday living skills.
- Treating other health conditions. Children with ASD may also have other health conditions, such as epilepsy. Your doctor will work to manage these conditions as well.
- Alternative therapy. Many parents consider alternative therapy to complement other support options. In some cases, risks may outweigh the benefits. Discuss alternative therapies with your childs pediatrician.
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If You Suspect Signs Of Autism In Infants
During your childs development, its helpful to keep a notebook to jot down events, milestones, and unusual things you may witness during their development. This is a great way of keeping a log of both memories, but also any potential issues that a medical professional might want to look into.
If youve read through all the signs of autism in infants and suspect your child may be in need of an assessment, please contact us to book an appointment. Our office proudly serves Texas families and residents just like you!
Autism Signs By 12 Months
- They don’t say single words.
- They don’t use gestures such as waving or shaking their head.
- They don’t point to objects or pictures.
- They can’t stand when supported.
It’s important to note that these criteria aren’t conclusive evidence of autism. “They’re simply things we look for to determine if we need to further assess the baby,” says Mandi Silverman, Psy.D., senior director of the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute. Another social or developmental factor may be at play.
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How Signs Of Autism In Girls Differ To Boys
Early signs of autism are sometimes clearer in boys than in girls. According to child behavior specialists at the Cleveland Clinic located in Ohio, only one in three children diagnosed with autism is female. Only one girl to every nine boys is diagnosed with high functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome. Young children might be misdiagnosed as having social communication disorders or developmental disorders.
A study of 300 girls by the Cleveland Clinic suggests autistic females are less likely to exhibit classically male symptoms. These include restricted interests, difficulties in social situations, episodes of intense aggravation, and self-harm.
These girls are often labeled as having developmental delays, but without the diagnosis of autism, their access to resources and care become limited. The Cleveland Clinic recommends being proactive and seeing your pediatrician if you notice any signs your daughter might be autistic, especially if she is in between regular medical check-ups.
Parent: Child Seemed Normal
Jennifer Malonis already had a child with autism. Dominics odd behavior instead of playing with his toy cars, hed line them up in order of size led to a relatively early autism diagnosis at age 21 months. At that time, her second son, Dylan, was 6 months old.
Knowing Dylan was at increased risk of autism, the Mt. Airy, Md., resident enrolled him in Landas study when he was 13 months old. His first evaluation indicated he had autism. By age 18 months, he was diagnosed.
Dylan was very different from Dominic his signs of autism were very, very subtle, Maloni tells WebMD. If I hadnt had him in a study where they watched him for hours on end, they would not have picked up on it. I was able to get early intervention for him right away.
Autism clearly has a strong genetic component. But genes arent destiny, Landa says.
Your brain development isnt just engineered by your genetics. Your experience plays a role in your outcome, Landa says. So if a toddler isnt attending to social cues and develops these patterns of behavior that make it hard to engage with others, the child isnt getting learning opportunities. It becomes a vicious cycle. We want to disrupt this cycle, to teach children how to engage with objects in diverse ways. We teach them to have joint interactions with people that are rewarding.
It isnt easy. Maloni says she tries to engage her sons in social play every waking moment. But the results are more than rewarding.
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A Guide To The Signs Of Autism In Infants
The key to any illness is early detection and intervention, and autism its no different.
Babies that fall on the autism spectrum will typically have a delay in their social ques, motor skills, verbal skills, and have what seems like odd reactions to certain things. Autistic infants may be difficult to soothe and may seem standoffish in the way they react to both you and others.
The earlier the detection time, the better. Youll be able to prepare and adjust both your life and your childs to get them as close to normal life as possible for them. Its important to be mindful when watching your infants going through their various stages.
Many children with autism show signs at a young age. But what are the signs?
Here is a guide to the signs of autism in infants.
Early Autism Signs: Behavioral Differences
Certain behaviorslike repetitive actions and sensory processing issuescan raise a red flag that your child may need to be evaluated for autism. Having very strong interests that are super narrow and intense may be a warning sign, too. For example, a recent report found that 44% of autistic youth have an intense interest in bright or vividly colored objects, spinning objects, soft or textured objects. Some behavioral differences to look for include:
Being ultra-sensitive to certain sounds, smells, textures, light, and touch
Looking at objects from unusual angles
Engaging in repetitive behaviors, such as rocking, spinning, twirling fingers, or flapping hands
Playing with parts of toys instead of the whole toy, like zeroing on spinning wheels, not the toy truck
Not crying when in pain
Walking on toes for an extended period
Rigidity over routines and rituals
Difficulty transitioning from one activity to anotheror with other changes
Being super-focused on a few or unusual activities
Difficulty managing emotions and/or having frequent, extended tantrums
Pulling you by the hand and pointing to show you something without making eye contact
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Signs Of Speech And Language Difficulties
- Speaks in an atypical tone of voice, or with an odd rhythm or pitch .
- Repeats the same words or phrases over and over, often without communicative intent.
- Responds to a question by repeating it, rather than answering it.
- Uses language incorrectly or refers to him or herself in the third person.
- Has difficulty communicating needs or desires.
- Doesnt understand simple directions, statements, or questions.
- Takes what is said too literally .
Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty with speech and language. Often, they start talking late.
Early Signs Of Autism In Infants Toddlers And Preschoolers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 1 in 59 school-aged children in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder , a condition characterized by difficulties with social interactions and by behavioral challenges. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls, as girls may be more likely to have symptoms, such as social impairment, that are harder to detect than behavioral issues.
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Conditions With Overlapping Signs
Sometimes, other conditions may be confused with autism due to similar presentation. This symptom overlap can make diagnosis tricky. Also, some kids have ASD as well as other conditions.
For example. children who have delays in development may have immature social skills, which can be mistaken for autism, says Dr. Angulo. “We would want to look at all areas of development to determine if this is just a social delay or delays across multiple areas or both.”
Some young children with ASD have a speech delay. However, many toddlers with speech challenges do not have autism. “The quality of communication can help us to differentiate between ASD and isolated speech delay,” explains Dr. Angulo. “Children with ASD may have limited eye contact, limited facial expressions, and/or limited social desire to communicate. These would not be impaired in children with an isolated speech delay.”
Children with anxiety may also look like they have ASD. “Many times, children with anxiety can be rigid in play, struggle with transitions, or have a strong interest in a comfort item,” says Dr. Angulo. “These can be attributed to ASD symptoms, but would also need to have social difficulties, which is the hallmark of ASD.”
What Are The Early Signs Of Autism In Babies And Toddlers
Recognizing that every infant is different from every other infant and that some of the signs of autism may be present in infants who may have other disabilities or even in infants who may turn out not to have any disability, there are some signs that warrant a discussion with a pediatrician and a possible closer look at the infants overall development.
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Early Signs Of Autism In Children
Early diagnosis means early intervention. It helps provide your child a higher quality of life through teaching life skills with therapies and games.
There are certain signs to look out for while your child is growing up. They hit developmental milestones, indicating that their social, communicative and behavioral developments are on track.
Here are some of the early signs that your child may need to be further examined and tested by your physician.
Accelerated Growth Of The Circumference Of The Head In Relation To Its Starting Point
A study conducted by Courchesne found that, in certain cases, children diagnosed with autism were born with small head circumferences, but within two years the circumference grew rapidly so that it reached larger dimensions of head circumference in comparison to typical development of children. This sign is not conclusive for autism.
It is important to note that each of these symptoms may indicate other disorders not related to autism! It is therefore imperative to first and foremost conduct medical examinations to negate these possibilities. Once this has been done and two of the above-mentioned symptoms persist over time, the possibility of a development disorder linked to autism should be investigated.
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Prenatal Factors That May Contribute To Autism
Taking antidepressants during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months.
Nutritional deficiencies early in pregnancy, particularly not getting enough folic acid.
The age of the mother and father.
Complications at or shortly after birth, including very low birth weight and neonatal anemia
Maternal infections during pregnancy.
Exposure to chemical pollutants, such as metals and pesticides, while pregnant.
More research on these prenatal risk factors is needed, but if youre pregnant or trying to conceive, it cant hurt to take steps now to reduce your babys risk of autism.
Reducing the risk of autism: Tips for expectant mothers
Take a multivitamin. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. Its not clear whether this will also help reduce risk of autism, but taking the vitamins cant hurt.
Ask about SSRIs. Women who are taking an SSRI should talk with a clinician about all the risks and benefits of these drugs. Untreated depression in a mother can also affect her childs well-being later on, so this is not a simple decision to make.
Practice prenatal care. Eating nutritious food, trying to avoid infections, and seeing a clinician for regular check-ups can increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy child.
Source: Harvard Health Publications
When To See Your Pediatrician
During checkups, your childs pediatrician will assess developmental progress. In between appointments, however, you may notice signs of autism or suggestions your child is not developing similarly to his/her peers. He/She may not engage with you the same way other babies engage with their parents, or he/she may exhibit some of the other symptoms listed above.
If you feel something is amiss, consult your childs pediatrician to run a series of diagnostic exams. These exams are non-invasive and will often include a behavioral and developmental assessment. You might also be given a questionnaire for you and other caregivers in your childs life.
Early Warning Signs Of Autism
“Could my child have autism?” With one in 88 children being diagnosed with autism, according to the CDC’s latest estimate, that’s what many new parents want to know. Autism is generally not diagnosed until age three, but signs of developmental delay can begin to appear as early as six months of age.
According to Dr. Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md., parents have the power to spot red flags of autism in its earliest form.
What are the signs of autism in infants 6 months to 1 year old? Keep clicking to find out…
What Are The Signs Of Asd In Babies
Diagnosing ASD is challenging. One reason for this is that the condition presents differently in all individuals.
Babies can reach developmental milestones at slightly different ages, even when they do not have any health conditions. However, some developmental differences indicate that a baby may be autistic. These include:
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Signs And Symptoms Of Autism In Babies And Toddlers
If autism is caught in infancy, treatment can take full advantage of the young brains remarkable plasticity. Although autism is hard to diagnose before 24 months, symptoms often surface between 12 and 18 months. If signs are detected by 18 months of age, intensive treatment may help to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms.
The earliest signs of autism involve the absence of typical behaviorsnot the presence of atypical onesso they can be tough to spot. In some cases, the earliest symptoms of autism are even misinterpreted as signs of a good baby, since the infant may seem quiet, independent, and undemanding. However, you can catch warning signs early if you know what to look for.
Some autistic infants dont respond to cuddling, reach out to be picked up, or look at their mothers when being fed.