Most parents are concerned with gross motor development and it is often picked up and presented to the doctor at the earliest. But what is missed or not taken seriously is the development of speech, language, and age-appropriate social behaviors. Addressing these issues at the earliest may pick up autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Diagnosing ASD can be difficult since there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorders. The doctor observes the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis.
ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By the age of 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable.
However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.
Children or adults with ASD might:
• not point at objects to show interest (for example, not point at an airplane flying over)
• not look at objects when another person points at them
• have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
• avoid eye contact and want to be alone
• have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
• prefer not to be held or cuddled or might cuddle only when they want to
• appear to be unaware when people talk to them but respond to other sounds
• be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
• repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
• have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
• not play “pretend” games (for example, not pretend to “feed” a doll)
• repeat actions over and over again
• have trouble adapting when a routine change
“The earlier developmental delays are detected and intervention begins, the greater is the chance a young child has of achieving his or her best potential.”
So, let's act together to help the children who themselves are in a position not to express what they require.