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Parenting - In The Early Signs Of Autism

If only I had an idea of some of the signs of autism I would have watched my daughter more keenly and probably would have spotted the early signs before she was six. It would have helped me to bond better with my daughter. There is a growing awareness of autism and this has affected the autism spectrum. According to CDC 1 in 189 girls and 1 in 42 boys suffer from the condition.

Realizing that my daughter is autistic has led me into making research on the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The concern of many parents is usually how to discover the condition on time so that they can better care for their children. 

Several studies have shown that early therapeutic training can improve the learning capability of children on the autism spectrum including their ability to cope with stress, social situations, and overstimulation.

I have to mention quickly that the signs will differ from one kid to another. Bear in mind that the time of manifestation of signs may also differ. As early as 18 months of age some children will begin to show signs while others will remain undetected until 2 to 3 years. Also, note that some children may express less common signs. To help parents with autistic children, I have made a list of some of the early signs that can tell you if your child is autistic or not. 

1. Little Or No Interaction

By nature, children are very social – even as toddlers. They laugh and play with any object that comes within their grip. Toddlers are keen with observation and that is why they tend to laugh when you grimace in front of them. 

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Babies in the autistic spectrum have more difficulty following eye contact 

Babies in the autistic spectrum have more difficulty following eye contact or responding to their parent’s words. According to a report from the National Institute of Mental Health, autistic children more frequently do not listen or look at other people. It is easy for parents to overlook this sign, just like I did. 

2. Difficulty Identifying With Name

The learning capabilities of every child differ. However, most children begin to recognize and respond to their name before they are a year old. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if by 12 months of age your child cannot still respond to their name you should suspect autism. 

I recall when my daughter was a year and a few months, I would call her, but she sometimes doesn't respond. I thought it was the usual thing with kids. Inasmuch as it made me a bit sad sometimes, I assured myself that she will come around someday.

3. Unusual Quietness

A few times I have visited some of my friends and found their babies babbling. It is true that many children don’t begin to talk until they are a year and older, they often begin to imitate what adults say which is the reason why they babble a lot. Their babbling can be fun to watch at leisure. 

My daughter was mostly quiet as a baby except when she cried for food or cut herself. I used to think I was lucky because the babbling of children can be very discomforting or distracting. I spend most of my leisure time writing and I usually prefer it to be quiet. According to the CDC, delayed language and speech skills are some of the difficulties someone with ASD might encounter. 

The Signs Of Autism In Children Is Not Too Different From Babies

As babies grow into toddlers, the signs of autism do not change, they only become more pronounced – and new signs may show up. The most obvious sign I noticed about my daughter as she grew into a toddler is that she preferred to play by herself rather than play with others. 

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They preferred to be alone

There was a day I took her to the park. She was about two years then. It was a well-organized park that separated children according to their age. She was with about six other children of her age but she isolated herself from the other children. They had someone that took care of them. The person that took care of them was teaching them imitation game. 

For the brief moment I spent with them, I noticed that my daughter was all by herself. The other children were watching the teacher and trying to imitate her but my daughter had her eyes fixed to the ground. The truth is that I never thought that having a problem with socialization can be a sign of something greater considering that some people are introverts while others are extrovert.  

When I came to pick her up, their nanny told me that my daughter was too quiet and that she was concerned that she may not be happy. She told me that she didn't like the fact that my daughter found it imitating her like the other kids. In her words to describe my daughter, she said, "She seems disconnected and would not return a wave or smile".

Minor Things Upset Autistic Toddlers

As your child grows into a toddler, you will notice they easily get upset over things that you will consider trivial. Many children will want to be cuddled when they are crying but it’s a different case for autistic children. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, autistic children find it communicating their inner distress which is usually the source of their frustration. 

I also noticed that my daughter found it difficult adjusting to a new environment. She preferred consistency. Whenever we were in a new environment I noticed she flapped her hands a lot. It’s recently that I learned that flapping of the hand is one of the early signs of autism. 

Children with autism are also very sensitive to sensation. My daughter would usually go to any length to keep her face out of the sun but loved the feeling of the wind on her face. Other things my daughter hated were getting dressed or undressed, taking her bath, and being covered with blankets.