As a parent, you never want your child to be on the autism spectrum. However, when it comes down to it, early detection can make a huge difference.
Autism refers to a spectrum of conditions that share a core of symptoms. Autism disorder appears in the early stages of a person's life-infancy and childhood, and can bring about some delays in basic development areas including social skills and verbal abilities-talking, playing, etc.
Early signs of autism
Parents are the primary agents to detect any early signs of autism. You are better at spotting any shift in behavior in your child than any professional. So trust yourself and simply educate yourself a little bit when you see any sign. If autism is detected early within the first 2 years (although it is pretty difficult), the flexibility of his brain allows for an effective treatment.
As a preschooler
Signs of social struggle
- appears uninterested of what's going around him
- doesn't know how to connect with others and make friends
- does not enjoy being touched, cuddled, or held
- has a hard time understanding feelings or talking about them
- seems to not hear when others are talking to him
- is not interested in showing achievements to others (drawings, art projects)
Signs of speech and language difficulties
- Use a weird pitch or tone to talk
- responds to questions by repeating them instead of answering them
- repeats the same words over and over, often without the intention to communicate
- has a hard time understanding simple directions
- has a hard time communicating feelings or desires
- takes words spoken too literally (he is not aware of sarcasm, jokes, or irony)
Signs of inflexibility
- follows an inflexible routine
- strong attachments to things such as a toy, a blanket, a key, etc.
- spends a long time watching moving things such as a ceiling fan
- has a hard time adapting to any change in schedule or routine