Unfortunately, we hear about autism more and more often, at some point the numbers even become alarming. The condition, which requires time, patience and material efforts, can be kept under control, in some cases with good results, especially if the diagnosis is made as early as possible.
Recently, worldwide, a lot of money has been spent trying to find out what are the causes of the increase in autism cases. The results of the studies also show that people’s perception of autism and the way in which the diagnosis is made have changed. It is very important that autism spectrum disorder is detected as soon as possible. Intervening early, things can improve significantly for the little one. The child who seemed, at the beginning, to be autistic, in a few months or even a year may no longer present manifestations of the autistic spectrum or have very few.
Watch its development carefully
Children do not develop psychomotor identically, even if they are of the same age, nor do they literally respect the parameters in the specialized treatises. Children are different and what they seem to have lost today is suddenly regained tomorrow. This does not mean that parents can sleep peacefully, especially when signs appear that make everyone around ask the question: is our child developing normally or is he having problems? The child’s development must be carefully monitored and any aspect that raises concerns must be discussed with the doctor to find out if it is necessary to intervene in any way.
But to be in the know, it would be good for parents to know some of the warning signs to be aware of when it comes to the development of the little one.
Signs that make you think
Specialist clinical psychologist Carmen Hotar, coordinator of ABA therapy programs, presents us with the main signs that should alert any parent of a 2-year-old child:
1. Do not respond to the smile of the people around you.
2. Does not respond when called by name.
3. He does not communicate (not even with the help of gestures).
4. Do not imitate children and people around.
5. Fails to maintain eye contact.
6. Has repetitive play or does not play with toys properly.
7. Walks on tiptoes, waves hands, spins, jumps.
8. Has eating and sleeping problems.
9. He is withdrawn.
10. He does not respond to the adult’s requests unless he “wants to”.
If you see that the little one cannot do these things, ask for the advice of a specialist. It’s never too early to fix things that can get worse over time.
The course of development is different for each child. That is why it is difficult to say when it is an immaturity of the child’s communication ability or a delay that requires attention and, consequently, a professional approach.
Autism spectrum disorder may or may not be apparent until ages 2 to 6. Signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some or all of them may be present. It is important that any concerns be discussed with the doctor or specialist in the field and to avoid waiting according to the belief: “let’s talk one day”. An assessment is necessary if a child over 2 years of age: can only imitate sounds or words, but does not spontaneously use words and phrases; says only a few sounds or words repetitively and does not use verbal language to make his needs known; cannot fulfill simple requirements; has an unusual tone or voice or if the language he uses is not understood.