In the current generation we all are getting familiar with a disorder know as Autism (Autism spectrum disorder -ASD).Autism is increasing at an alarming rate according to a latest study autism now affects 1 in 100 children and these statistics can frighten parents when they see certain behavior pattern may or may not be normal.
Some of the commonest signs of autism are No eye contact, No language development, Obsessive compulsive behaviour, temper tantrums, sensory issues, no fear, self injurious behavior can be observed in kids suffering from severe autism. Usually all these may not be present in all the children. Some of the fine and subtle expression should not be missed out as early detection of autism can be very helpful in starting the treatment program.
Lack of eye contact this is one of the basic response babies give which is spontaneous on the part of the baby. Babies should be quick and eager to engage a parent or even a stranger with a focused and prolonged eye contact. There is no need in a normal baby to work on getting eye contact, so when you find your child doesn't give eye contact this has to be taken into consideration.
Lack of babbling by seven months should make consonant sounds and by 12 months should be speaking in phrases. If a 12 month old is still not making any relevant words or phrases then the speech is delayed. In certain children suddenly stop speaking or communicating after they have started to speak this is also one of the signs to watch out. Not all late talkers will develop autism. But if a child doesn't talk anything by 18 months then full developmental evaluation is a must.
Repetitive actions like making noise with the keys, holding a pencil in hand and shaking it for no obvious reason, playing inappropriately with toys, or looking at objects which are meant to be played with without curiosity and get obsessed with certain things like pencil batteries, caps etc can be a cause of concern.
Sensory issues like putting the hands to the ears when there is a certain type of noise or in a crowd, inappropriate hugging and touching, handling the private parts, presence of certain people which cause great annoyance for no obvious reason. Eat the same food with the same texture and taste.
It is important to observe the following signs in preschool age as some children will not display enough obvious symptoms and diagnosis of autism may go undiagnosed and precious time will be lost
Unusual brilliance: In certain children it is observed that the child may talk incessantly about one or more primary subjects read the book and music which may far exceed the skills when compared to his peers. But the same child will have difficulty in conversing about simple subjects and may not be interested. Such behavior also has to be evaluated.
Repetition while conversing: when a child is asked a question and if he repeats the same thing again in the exact way can be a cause of concern if this behavior is observed on most of the occasions.
Lack of social interaction: this is an issue of comprehension when the child cannot comprehend what is happening in his social surrounding. If he is unable to make out when to laugh or understand sarcastic comments or answer appropriately to questions. This has to be taken into consideration for evaluation of the child for autism.
Obsessive compulsive behavior: Some children will constantly play with the cap of bottle, some will arrange the car toys in one line and if someone disturbs the sequence, it will cause a major temper tantrum, change of the food plate on which food is served or if food is cooked in a different way they will refuse to accept the change.