Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that results in challenges with communicating verbally and non-verbally, relating to others and the world around them, and thinking and behaving flexibly.
Early signs for a baby or toddler may include difficulty in the following areas:
- Making eye contact, such as looking at you when being fed or smiling when being smiled at
- Responding to his or her name, or to the sound of a familiar voice
- Following objects visually or follow your gesture when you point things out
- Pointing or waving goodbye, or use other gestures to communicate
- Making noises to get your attention
- Initiating or responding to cuddling or reaching out to be picked up
- Imitating your movements and facial expressions
- Playing with other people or sharing interest and enjoyment
- Noticing or caring if you hurt yourself or are experiencing discomfort
The range of challenge varies greatly from person to person which is why it is called a spectrum disorder.
If you have concerns about your child’s development- don’t wait. Early intensive intervention is proven to improve outcomes significantly. Learning the signs, looking at your child’s developmental milestones and getting an evaluation to start treatment can make a tremendous difference.
It is important to note that not all concerns result in an autism diagnosis but being proactive is crucial. Bottom line is – you know your child best. If you are concerned SPEAK UP. Talk to your doctor and professionals in child development. Prepare for this conversation with specific concerns and examples. Note your child’s peers and what they are up to.