Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is My Child Autistic?

The recent rise in publicity is causing more people to become aware of Autism and to wonder if their child may be Autistic. No one wants to imagine something could be wrong with their child. But then they see a news story or hear someone talking about a child that has Autism and they start to imagine that their own child may have signs of Autism.

The characteristics of Autism are many and they differ in each child. Even if you see some Autism symptoms in your child it does not mean they are Autistic. There are many medical conditions that have the same warning signs. Some children may be slower in their developmental milestones. Remember that each child develops at their own tempo and just because your child is not talking by the time they are twelve-months-old does not mean they have Autism.

If you worry about your child's progress speak to their Pediatrician. Only they can tell you if further testing should be considered. Many parents try to self diagnose their children. This can be a huge blunder. It takes a number of qualified medical specialists to diagnose Autism signs in a child. This Autism symptoms checklist cannot be done with one appointment, with one pediatrician. You will need a team of professionals evaluating your child. Remember, the earlier you have your child assessed the greater the chances of treatment helping the child.

Finding out if your child is Autistic can take time. It can be a life changing occurrence for both you and your child. Only when you find out if your child is Autistic can you begin the recommended course of action or continuing to see what is causing your child's problems if it is not Autism.

Signs of Autism that your child may need further evaluation include:

1. No eye contact
2. No communication at all; sounds or words.
3. No show of emotions.
4. Does not pretend play.
5. Use of repetitive movements.
6. If they show a hard time with schedule changes.
7. Do not respond to you when you are speaking to them; either with looks or words.
8. Doing things over and over again.
9. Loss of skills they knew.
10. An attachment to a certain food, or smell. These are sensory problems.

If you notice these signs in your child speak to your Pediatrician about them. Receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment plan are very important. But again; do not worry over every little thing. Remember, some children just take a little longer to reach their milestones.

What are the Signs of Autism?

With the seeming rise of Autism today you might ask yourself, “What are the signs of Autism?” “Is there an Autism symptoms checklist?” Here you will find several signs that may be linked to Autism. If you observe these in your child; speak to your Pediatrician about having them tested. The signs and levels of Autism differ in each child and this can make getting a diagnosis difficult. So, the sooner that Autism is discovered the better the chances are at treating it. Some Autism signs may include:

1. Your child may not reach developmental milestones on time. Remember, though, each child develops in a different way. Some babies will crawl at four months while some may not until they are many months older. This can be absolutely normal. The difficulty is when every milestone is much later than normal. If your child is not meeting their stages talk with their doctor. The doctor will ask you a series of questions and if the results all are pointing to something being wrong, further testing will be considered.

2. Your child does not talk. Children start to talk at different ages. Some start speaking very young while others just start blurting out whole sentences one day. Again, this can be very normal. However, if your child does not have any type of talk by the age of twelve months this could be a cause for worry. Most infants will say some words by the time they are sixteen months. If your child doesn’t, ask your doctor if they think more evaluation is necessary. Often a child who is late to talk is suspected of having a hearing issue first.

3. No eye contact. Most infants and children will look at you when you talk to them. Autistic children usually will not. It often appears as if they are looking off into the distance instead of paying attention to you. They also may not point to objects. Usually they won’t look at objects you are trying to show them; instead they look past it.

4. Your child does not show emotion. Autistic children often do not demonstrate any emotions. They will not smile back when a person smiles at them. They do not show any cares when someone around them is expressing pain, or crying. An Autistic child usually does not like to be held or hugged. They will not reach up for their parents to hold them.

5. Likes to play by themselves. A child with Autism usually will play alone. They feel more at ease being by them self. They have a hard time making friends or have poor relationships with friends. They often do not know how to relate to other children and do not understand when another child is joking with them. They take everything said to them literally.

6. Your child loses skills they once knew. The child may have learned to talk and play and then it seems as if they have forgotten how. They may pick up a new ability and a week later has no idea how to do it.

These are a very few of the symptoms of Autism. If you notice any of them in your children talk to their Pediatrician. Remember, children on the higher level of the Autism spectrum may go years without being diagnosed and all children with Autism will not have every sign. Getting them diagnosed as soon as possible will allow treatment to begin sooner. Getting your child evaluated as soon as you suspect a problem is very important. Even if there is nothing wrong it is better to be safe. The earlier treatment can be started the better for the child. Remember each child grows and matures at their own rate, so they may just be a late bloomer.

For more information about the different causes of autism and things you can do for your auctistic child read here.