Lack Of Reaction To The Voice Or Presence Of A Parent
There is no turning of the head, no response to his/her name, no smile or babbling. A distinction should be drawn between a lack of reaction to a voice and lack of reaction to the presence of a parent: even if a baby does not hear, he/she will react to the presence of a parent. In any case, a hearing test should first be conducted before drawing conclusions.
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
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How To Spot Autism In Your Infant
Early diagnosis of autism plays a big role in successfully treating some of the most difficult symptoms of this developmental disorder.
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There is no doubt about it the prevalence of autism in the United States has gotten the attention of many parents. Although there are still many unanswered questions about this developmental disorder, there are a few things we know for sure. First of all, we know that 1 out of every 68 children will fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. We also know that it is more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 in 42 boys is believed to have autism spectrum disorder , while 1 in 189 girls are believed to have this disorder, according to Autism Speaks. Perhaps most important of all the things we know about autism is that early intervention matters. The sooner parents can spot symptoms in their children, the sooner they can seek specialized treatment for their children. Early intervention is known to be incredibly effective in improving the symptoms of autism, says Autism Speaks. Of course, if parents want to seek early treatment, their child must be diagnosed first. For many moms and dads this will mean watching young children, even infants, for signs they may have autism.
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Heres What To Do If You Are Concerned About Your Infants Development
If you notice your child is showing signs of developmental delays, it is understandable that you may be concerned. Your first step should always be a visit with your childs pediatrician. They have received extensive training on spotting the earliest symptoms of autism in children. A visit with your childs doctor will usually go one of two ways. You may be told that your childs delays are still within the realm of normal, since all kids develop at different paces. At your visit your childs doctors may instead conclude that the symptoms being displayed are reason for concern and then they will recommend next steps, like seeing a specialist or having your child formally evaluated for autism. No matter what you learn, your doctor, other healthcare providers, and parenting support groups will help you figure out next steps for how to best support your child.
What Early Signs Of Autism Should I Watch For In My Child
While the causes of autism remain mysterious, the early signs of autism don’t come out of nowhere. Most parents of autistic children recognize language delays at around 18 months of age. In fact, there are a few red flags that parents can look out for in their child much earlier than that. The American Academy of Pediatrics says some subtle, early signs of autism to look for before baby is 12 to 18 months old include:
- Your child doesn’t turn when you say his or her name by 12 months
- Your child doesn’t turn to look when you point and say, “Look at”
- Your child doesn’t point to show you interesting objects or events
- Your child doesn’t engage in back-and-forth baby babbling
- Delay in smiling and laughing
- Your child doesn’t make and keep eye contact with people
Other early signs of autism that warrant evaluation by your pediatrician include the following :
- No babbling, pointing or other gestures by 12 months
- No single words by 16 months
- No two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months
- Loss of language or social skills at any age
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What Does Autism Look Like
This section describes autism spectrum disorder in greater detail. The term spectrum can be dened as a continuous sequence or range . As such, parents, caregivers, and educators will recognize the wide range of strengths and challenges children with ASD exhibit.
Social Communication Impairments may include the following:
Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities include:
Many parents, caregivers, and educators report that children with ASD exhibit behavioral challenges such as tantrum behavior, aggressive behavior, self-injurious behavior, property destruction, and noncompliance. Challenging behaviors should be addressed promptly at home and at school.
Unusual Reaction To Sounds Sights Or Textures
Babies with autism can show unusual reactions or be very sensitive to certain sounds, sights, or textures. They may get overly excited about a page in a book or hold their hands over their ears in response to loud sounds, squint or flap their hands to certain lights, gag when they eat food with certain textures, or get upset about a tag in a shirt or something sticky or gooey.
If your child shows unusual reactions to sounds, sights, or textures, this may be an early sign of autism.
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Signs Of Autism In Babies Age 1
- Lack of engagement via joint attention
- No words by 18 months
- Not bringing objects to parents
- Compulsive repetition of behaviors
- Loss of verbal and social skills
- Plateauing of developing social and verbal skills
Other signs are more dramatic and alarming. Lack of words by 18 months is immediately concerning. A child who is completely socially withdrawn and has no interest in interacting with parents and other kids should be an immediate red flag. Another issue is the regression and plateauing of social skills. So when a child suddenly loses skills theyve gained during the course of development, or simply hits a stopping point, parents may want to seek help.
Theres the notion of autism regression where a baby between 15-20 months will lose verbal and social skills. Thats classically characteristic of autism, says Dr. Mendy Minjarez, clinical director at the Seattle Childrens Autism Center. But sometimes what happens is a plateau. A baby that was previously pretty smiley or engageable will plateau and not develop skills after 15 or 18 months. Its not a regression so it doesnt scare people into thinking somethings wrong, but I think a plateau should prompt an automatic referral to a specialist.
One key for parents is observing the persistence of behaviors that seems off. Figuring out these patterns can help a parents figure out whether its normal kid behavior, a sign of autism, or a symptom of a completely different behavioral issue.
Children With Autism Have Distinct Facial Features: Study
Scientists may not agree on what causes autism, but a new study that looked at kids’ facial characteristics might help researchers understand the origins of the developmental disorder.
The study found that children with autism have distinct differences in facial characteristics than typically developing children.
“There is no clear answer about whether autism is caused by genetics or by environmental influences,” study author Dr. Kristina Aldridge, assistant professor of anatomy at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, said in a . “If we can identify when these facial changes occur, we could pinpoint when autism may begin to develop in a child.”
For the study – published in the Oct. 14 issue of Molecular Autism – researchers compared facial features in 64 boys with autism with faces of 41 typically developing boys, all 8-12 years old, with a 3-D camera system. After mapping out 17 points on faces, the researchers found significant differences between the two groups.
The study found children with autism had wider eyes, and a “broader upper face,” compared with typically developing children. According to the study, children with autism also had a shorter middle region of the face – including the nose and cheeks – as well as a wider mouth and philtrum, the divot above the lip and below the nose.
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What To Do If Youre Worried
If your child is developmentally delayed, or if youve observed other red flags for autism, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician right away. In fact, its a good idea to have your child screened by a doctor even if he or she is hitting the developmental milestones on schedule. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive routine developmental screenings, as well as specific screenings for autism at 9, 18, and 30 months of age.
Schedule an autism screening. A number of specialized screening tools have been developed to identify children at risk for autism. Most of these screening tools are quick and straightforward, consisting of yes-or-no questions or a checklist of symptoms. Your pediatrician should also get your feedback regarding your childs behavior.
Why Does My Baby Not Look At Me
Parents must be educated about the suggestive symptoms of autism, since they are the first ones who can identify them. Infants who avoid eye contact with their parents mostly end up with a diagnosis of autism. This sign falls under the social skills category of autism and is regarded as a red flag.
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Restricted Or Repetitive Behaviors Or Interests
People with ASD have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by only problems with social communication and interaction.
Examples of restricted or repetitive interests and behaviors related to ASD can include:
- Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed
- Repeats words or phrases over and over
- Plays with toys the same way every time
- Is focused on parts of objects
- Gets upset by minor changes
- Has obsessive interests
- Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
- Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
Very Focused On Or Attached To Unusual Objects
Babies with autism can be very focused on or attached to objects that are unusual for their age, such as long strips of cloth, utensils, chains, rocks, sticks, flowing water, or gadgets they can take apart and put together.
If your child is very focused on or attached to unusual objects, this may be an early sign of autism.
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Rarely Shares Their Interests With You
Babies are eager to share their interests with you, first with gestures like showing and pointing, and then with sounds and words.
Notice what your baby is paying attention to to figure out what theyre interested in.
If your baby rarely their interests with you, this can be an early sign of autism.
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!
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Social Communication And Interaction Skills
Social communication and interaction skills can be challenging for people with ASD.
Examples of social communication and social interaction characteristics related to ASD can include:
- Avoids or does not keep eye contact
- Does not respond to name by 9 months of age
- Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age
- Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age
- Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age
- Does not share interests with others
- Does not point or look at what you point to by 18 months of age
- Does not notice when others are hurt or sad by 24 months of age
- Does not pretend in play
- Shows little interest in peers
- Has trouble understanding other peoples feelings or talking about own feelings at 36 months of age or older
- Does not play games with turn taking by 60 months of age
When Do Seizures Start In Autism
Early childhood and adolescence present two peaks for epilepsy onset in celiac disease patients. Nonetheless, a study suggests that twenty-three percent of patients with autistic have already been affected by a seizure ermalization 4 percent of autistic people with epilepsy have their first seizure in adulthood4.
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Diagnosis: Poor Social Skills
Trouble relating to other people is an important marker of an autism spectrum disorder. A psychologist with special training can help identify social problems as early as possible. Children may avoid looking people in the eye, including their parents. They may focus intently on an object, while ignoring others around them for long periods of time. They may not use gestures, body posture, or facial expressions to communicate.
Does Autism Come From The Mother Or Father
The team found that mothers passed only half of their structural variants on to their autistic childrena frequency that would be expected by chance alonesuggesting that variants inherited from mothers were not associated with autism. But surprisingly, fathers did pass on substantially more than 50% of their variants.
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What If Your Child Shows Some Early Signs Of Autism
Any one of these signs may not be a problem. But in combination, they may signal a need to conduct a screening or diagnostic evaluation.
As a general guide, if your child shows any 4 of these early signs, use our free online Social Communication CheckUp to screen your baby for autism.
If your child shows 8 or more of these early signs, ask for a referral for a diagnostic evaluation.
Talk to your childs doctor or teacher about any of these early signs or contact your local early intervention program. Share this article with them.
Develops Symptoms After Early Childhood
Your child developed and behaved like most children until they reached the age of 6 or older. Then symptoms that seem to point to autism sprang from nowhere.
In order to for be diagnosed with autism, your child must have first shown symptoms at an early age, even if those symptoms only caused problems in later years. A brand new symptom at age 12 or 14 may look a little like autism, but the likely cause is something else.
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