The children and youth with Autism normally hesitate to make eye contact, either non-verbal or speak just few words and are not social
Recognizing the early signs of autism can lead to optimal outcomes. Below are some of the early signs of Autism between the ages of 12 to 24 Months.
- Often begins to develop language then loses it, or doesn’t acquire language at all
- May appear deaf, respond unevenly or not at all to sounds
- Difficulty consoling during transitions (tantrums)
- Difficulty sleeping / wakes at night
- Does not “point and look”
- Failure to bond (e.g. child is indifferent to parents’ presence)
- Self-restricted/selected diet
- Limited imaginative play
- Not interested in playing with other children
- Chronic gastrointestinal problems
- Repeated infections
There are no medical tests for diagnosing Autism. An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual’s communication, behavior, and developmental levels. Because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms.
Children within the ASD often appear relatively normal in their development until the age of 24-30 months, when parents may notice delays in language, play or social interaction.
Any of the following delays, by themselves, would not result in a diagnosis of an ASD. Autism is a combination of several developmental challenges.
The Importance of Early Detection
If a child is diagnosed early with autism, there’s a lot parents and therapists can do. Unfortunately, in many cases it happens otherwise. Early Autism diagnosis is delayed mainly due to two factors; one not being aware of the autism symptoms and the other because of fear of labeling. Many children with autism are not diagnosed put on waiting lists and miss out on early behavioral interventions and other benefits because health professionals are reluctant to diagnose autism early out of fear of labeling young children. Under these contentions, diagnosis can be delayed for up to five years and sometimes, until the child has reached school age and beyond.