Autism is a neurological developmental disorder that can affect social skills like playing, communicating, learning, etc. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that autism affects 1 in 44 children today. The exact reason for autism is not known yet but experts believe that it might be some environmental or genetic factor. Other than this, if you have anyone in the family with autism, then the risk increases by 20 times. Other factors like premature birth, low birth weight, delivery complications, and having older parents are known to cause autism.
All babies are different and so are their milestones. Knowing the potential red flags of autism will help you to differentiate the symptoms. The signs can be seen in children as early as 6 months of age, depending on the symptoms and their severity. Babies with autism find it hard to communicate, learn or play, and express or read gestures. They hardly respond to social stimulation. Here are some early signs of autism.
Autism signs for 3 months old babies
- They don't respond to loud noises.
- They don't grasp and hold objects.
- They don't smile at people.
- They don't babble.
- They don't pay attention to new faces.
- They are unable to move their eyes with moving objects.
Autism signs for 6 months old babies
- They don't turn their head to locate where sounds are coming from.
- They show no affection for you.
- They don't laugh or make squealing sounds.
- They don't reach for objects.
- They don't smile on their own.
- They don't try to attract attention through actions.
- They never show interest in their nearby things.
Autism signs for 12 months old babies
- They don't say a single word.
- 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.
- They don’t crawl.
However, these are not the final signs of autism. If your child shows these symptoms, it is better to visit a Pediatrician for further investigation.
Early intervention for autism
Early Intervention (EI) services aim at minimizing the impact of disabilities on the development of the child. Some of the services include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, Applied Behaviour Analysis, and psychological evaluation.
- Children who receive early intervention programs show improved outcomes and increased success and independence in the long run.
- Early intervention can have a positive impact on a child’s communication skills and academic success.
- Early intervention therapies can alleviate the financial burden of the therapies in the long run by reducing the need for continuing intensive therapy.