Scientists aren’t certain what causes autism, but it’s likely that both genetics and environment play a role. Many parents ask how they will know if their child is autistic. More often than not, parents may suspect that something is “off” about their child but ignore the warning signs out of fear or denial. Better safe than sorry is the best philosophy if you have any concerns. Early intervention is crucial when it comes to treating autism so don’t feel ashamed to ask your pediatrician for a second opinion sooner rather than later.
Sometimes a speech delay is just a speech delay but if your toddler is displaying one or more of these early warning signs it is important to seek help as soon as possible:
· Impaired social interaction
· Problems with verbal and non-verbal communication
· Failure to respond to name
· Avoidance of eye contact with other people
· Repetitive movements such as rocking or twirling
· Self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging
Watching the baby’s behaviors is the best way to recognize whether something seems “off.” If you are a new parents, asking around and observing other babies in the family (look for videos if they already grew up), or in the community (the park, the grocery store, etc.) is the best way to go.
Do not jump to the conclusion that if your baby is displaying odd behaviors she necessarily has the disorder. Once again, when in doubt ask your pediatrician.
Here is a great video about how to recognize the early signs of Autism:
Getting informed is the best advice I can give you. And keep in mind that having the disorder does not mean a sentence of unhappiness for life. There are effective ways to help your child to be a happy and productive member of society.
We are here to help you, you are not alone.