World Autism Awareness Day 2024: Early Signs And Symptoms New Parents Should Know

Children with autism spectrum disorder may exhibit distinct behaviours, communication patterns, social interactions, and learning styles from most other children. Children with disabilities might have a wide range of abilities and symptoms, from minimal verbal communication to excellent conversational skills. Since children with ASD reach their motor milestones at regular intervals, ASD is typically not identified in the first year of life. 

Dr Ishu Goyal, Deputy Consultant Neurologist, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital says, “The parents don’t notice their child is different until the child starts to fall behind in social milestones. Due to their delayed social and language development, these kids find it difficult to interact with peers and express their needs.”

“To become independent, they need intensive cognitive and occupational therapy. Therefore, it’s critical to identify the issue as soon as possible so that appropriate therapies can begin before significant regression occurs”, adds Dr Ishu. 

World Autism Awareness Day: Signs and Symptoms

Certain early signs in preschool-aged children may indicate the presence of ASD. Dr Ishu highlights the following key indicators of autism in kids:

– Many studies have shown that children with ASD struggle with joint attention skills, such as coordinating attention through eye gazing, following someone else’s attention, and directing someone else’s attention to something interesting. 

– By the time a child is a year old, for instance, most of them can glance in the direction that their parent is pointing, and when they look back at them, they typically grin or make some other facial expression. 

– Parents may think that a child with ASD is having hearing difficulties since they don’t perform certain things. 

– Additionally, they don’t use gestures to express what they need; instead, they rely on simple motor movements like touch gestures. For instance, the kids might tug the parent in the direction of the water dispenser or even attempt to put the parent’s hand on it in place of pointing or verbally expressing their want for water. 

– The use of language skills is the second most prevalent handicap. Nearly all autistic children have delays in both spoken and nonverbal language.

– Once more, the children’s propensity to repeatedly repeat what they hear prevents the delay from being identified early. Therefore, the child can repeatedly chant the same nursery rhyme but remain silent when someone speaks to them. 

– It’s possible that they won’t be able to communicate with the parent intelligibly through spoken words. 

– Frequent idiosyncratic, unusual, or improper behaviours—such as self-harming, aggressiveness, or tantrums—may result from this.

Consult a medical professional to seek help and advice for your kid’s overall well-being and for being a better caregiver.

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