Is Your Baby Autistic?
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U. S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in sixty-eight children are identified with autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a developmental disorder that varies greatly in severity, from mildly affected, as in the cases of Aspergers Syndrome, to so severely autistic as to be unable to communicate at all. It is five times more likely to occur in boys than girls.More than half of children with autism have lower than average intelligence. Twenty-five percent never talk. Early detection leads to early intervention, improving the lives of those affected by autism. In most cases, signs of autism can be found in infancy. Signs of the autism spectrum disorder in infants involve an absence of normal behaviors, not necessarily the presence of abnormal behavior, however, repetitive behavior is common for people with autism, even in infancy.
Most autistic children will have developmental delays. They will usually reach developmental milestones (crawling, walking, cooing) later than the average age. But don't be alarmed if your baby runs a little behind. All children develop at their own pace. Autism causes significant delays in more than one area of development. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the case many to most autistic infants won't
- make eye contact,
- smile when smiled at,
- respond to name or familiar voices,
- use nonverbal communication,
- make noises to get attention,
- initiate or respond to cuddling,
- imitate others,
- reach out to be picked up,
- play with or enjoy others,
- visually follow objects or gestures.
Autistic children tend to be more emotionally withdrawn from their environment. They have a tendency to repetitive movements, such as rocking, head banging and hand twirling.They may become unnaturally fixated on everyday objects, like balloons, packaging styrofoam and water. They may become easily agitated by certain stimuli, certain sounds, smells, even people. Although the CDC reports that the average age of diagnosis is 4, a good pediatrician will watch your child's patterns of development and a good pediatrician should be able to detect problems sooner. If you have any concerns, don't be afraid to ask. Early intervention is the key to helping people with autism be the best they can be.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). Autism Spectrum Disorder. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html
Autism Speaks (2015). Facts about autism. Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/facts-about-autism
Autism Society (n.d.). About autism. Retrieved from http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/