It is essential that parents are familiar with the early signs of Autism in the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Your baby goes to the Pediatrician to receive their scheduled immunizations. The well visit check ups are monitored for height and weight, and developmental milestones are recorded.
Sometimes though the child is delayed in developing their milestones and Pediatricians will often say don’t worry, they will catch up.Instead, the Pediatrician should recommend the child be evaluated and referred to Early Intervention or you may also call 1-888-653-4463. For children ages 12 – 48 months Children’s Specialized Hospital provides a multi-disciplinary evaluation.
Unfortunately there is no blood test to diagnose Autism. The diagnosis is given usually after crucial time has past and often a parent’s concerns of developmental delays are not taken seriously. The earlier the diagnosis, the earlier the child can receive appropriate testing and services. The child will be screened and will have to meet the requirements of the DSM-IVcriteria for autism to be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum disorder.
The screening will consist of a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluation. Depending on the results, a child will fall into one of three forms of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder. They are Autism, Asperger syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).
Some of the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder are problems in social interactions and relationships such as developing non verbal communication skills. Examples are reading facial expressions and body postures, being able to maintain eye contact, maintaining friendships with children of the same age and lacking empathy or the ability to understand another person’s feelings.
Delays can also occur in verbal and non verbal communication. Examples of these symptoms are delays or lack of talking, the inability to maintain a conversation, repetitive use of language, and lack of understanding what someone else is implying or the meaning of the conversation.
Also, limited interests in activities or play are more symptoms of Autism. Examples may include unusual focus of toys, preoccupation with certain topics or an obsession with certain things in the child’s life. Routines need to be maintained and children with autism can also exhibit hand flapping and body rocking.
Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to ensure that these children will be able to receive the proper services and that they be placed in a school that is appropriate for their needs.