As a parent one, of your greatest fears would be to learn that your child to suffer from something. While we dread diseases, we are also deathly afraid of our children from suffering from anything that would impair their mental development. That includes autism.
What is Autism?
Autism is a whole range of disorders that causes children to have problems with their development. It usually affects a child’s ability to learn how to play, talk and to interact with others. A child with autism would normally have a hard time communicating with others. They could not really think in flexible terms and they are unable to relate to the world that surrounds them.
There is still a great deal to learn about this kind of disorder and there is wide disagreement on what is known. Doctors also disagree on the best way on how to treat it. What is known however is that early detection of autism is the best thing that can be done.
Early Signs of Autism
Experts agree that early detection of autism would help a lot. Treatment of children in their first 18 months of age has the most promise of reducing the effects of autism. That is why it is important that this disorder be detected as early as possible.
Here are some of the early signs of autism that you should be on the lookout for in your child.
- Does not make eye contact
- Does not respond to smiling
- Dos not look when you point out something
- Does not respond to his/her name
- Does not reach out
- Does not imitate voices of others
- Does not make requests
Basically any kind of behaviour that shows your child does not have the same way of communicating and reacting towards others can be taken as a sign of autism. It is not easy to detect if an infant is autistic because these symptoms are not really the presence of abnormal things. The symptoms are mostly the absence of what is normal on infants. In most cases parents and other adults would think that an infant is just a quiet or even a well-behaved child.
Parents of autistic children only suspect that there is something wrong with their child when they notice that their child’s development is not following the usual and expected pattern. For example if the child does not do baby talk when it is one years old or it has not spoken a meaningful word for the first two years, that is the only time that they suspect something is wrong.
Causes of Autism
It has long been believed that autism is caused by the genes passed down by the parents. New research has shown however that children who are autistic are born with the genes that increase the likelihood that they would become autistic but environmental factors are the ones that trigger those.
There is also no proof to the widely held belief that vaccines actually cause autism. Scientists have found no connection between the two. That is just one of the myths about the disorder that needs to be exposed.