It makes a huge difference if the signs of Autism are spotted at an early stage. By recognizing the early signs of Autism, you can get your child assessed by an expert, ascertain the risk of developing an Autism Spectrum Disorder and seek treatment for it.
Autism expresses itself through a spectrum of features. These features vary in infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood and lead to a significant delay in the development of essential skills such as learning to talk, play, interact with peers and adults, regulate emotions, and express needs and feelings. The signs and symptoms of Autism vary in severity with some children having mild, easily manageable symptoms while others having major deficits in their daily functioning. However, every child with Autism is likely to have deficits in the following areas of development:
1. Relating to people, understanding their expressions and emotions
2. Communicating verbally and non-verbally
3. Adapting to changes (most children with Autism demonstrate distress towards changes in their daily routine)
Even though there are different opinions amongst experts about the causes and treatments for Autism, there is one fact, however, that everyone agrees on: Early and intensive intervention helps.
For children at risk and children who show early signs, it can make a great difference.
But no matter your child's age, don't lose hope. Treatment can reduce the disorder's effects and help your child thrive in life. As the first step, it is important to understand if your child is presenting with early signs of Autism.
Here's a quick 3 minutes checklist that can help you decide on whether or not to take a child for an assessment. Read through the list and make mental notes of your answers.
Answer in terms of YES/SOMETIMES/NO.
1. Does your child have limited speech (either non-verbal or uses only short phrases/words)?
2. Does your child have repetitive speech?
3. Does your child tend to give random answers to questions or make random comments?
4. Does your child have a poor response to their name call?
5. Does your child avoid eye contact?
6. Does your child avoid playing with other children?
7. Does your child struggle to understand other people's feelings?
8. Does your child get upset with small changes in the routine?
9. Does your child have obsessive interests? (For example excessive affinity towards a particular toy, color, or activity)
10. Does your child demonstrate repetitive behaviors like – hand flapping, toe walking, clapping, jumping, or lining of objects?
11. Is your child over-sensitive to touch, taste, and smell? (For example: not able to wear full sleeve shirts, throwing a tantrum when asked to eat a particular food)
12. Does your child show little awareness of dangerous situations?
13. As a parent, does your child seem "different" to you when you compare them with their age mates or siblings?
If all of the above answers or most of them go towards YES or SOMETIMES, it's imperative to get an assessment done. If you don't have these answers, it's important to start observing your child and then come back to this checklist with all the answers. In any case, if you have any doubts, make sure you don't let them grow and affect your child's development.
Where to test your child for Autism?
If you suspect your child may have Autism spectrum disorder, start by raising your concerns with a doctor or a therapist specializing in developmental conditions. You can visit:
An experienced Neurologist who specializes in developmental conditions and gets a complete neurological and functional assessment done.
The neurologist will refer you to an Occupational Therapist who will carry out special assessments and tests to determine the severity of the disorder and plan treatment strategies.
Alternatively, you can also contact us at Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre and get a consultation with globally renowned neurologist Dr. Na'eem Sadiq who has successfully treated more than 5000 children with Autism Spectrum Disorders through his specialized treatment program comprising Regenerative medicine and rehabilitative therapies. We are located in Bangalore with a branch in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.
AUTISM IS NOT A TRAGEDY, BUT IGNORANCE IS.
To consult for Autism Spectrum Disorder contact: PLEXUS Bangalore +91 89048 42087 | 080 2546 0886, 080 2547 0886, 080 2549 0886, and Hyderabad on +91 78159 64668 | 040-2406 7886.
Dr. Na'eem Sadiq, MD, PhD
Medical Director and Head of Department of Stem cell therapy
Plexus Neuro and Stem cell research center
Kanishka Sharma, MOT
Senior Occupational Therapist and Head of Department of Rehabilitation
Plexus Neuro and stem cell research center