- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Child with Autism
What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that develops in children before the age of three. Most children have 3 major characteristics: problems with their language/communication skills, problems with their behaviors, and problems with social interactions.
Autism literally means “living in one’s own world”. It is estimated that 1 in every 110 kids are diagnosed with Autism every year, and 4 out of every 5 kids diagnosed with Autism are boys.
That makes Autism more common than childhood diabetes, pediatric AIDS, and childhood diabetes combined! As a well educated parent of a child with Autism I wanted to share what I learned through years of study, personal experiences, and reaching out to other parents with children on the Autistic Spectrum.
Is Autism affecting you?
How can you tell if your child's Autistic?
Honestly; there are no surefire ways to determine if your child's Autistic, I would honestly just have to tell you, "A mother knows". For me, I knew my son was Autistic when he was only four months old. How, you ask? My son, Ayden, was such a happy baby, he never cried, only cooed and giggled. I noticed he had replaced his cooing and giggling with fits of crying, all day long, that was my first sign, and the doctors chalked it up to him possibly developing Colic.
I then noticed that he had stopped looking at my face when I held him, and finally, when I looked into his eyes it seemed as if the light that was behind them had faded. I won't go into too much information on this article though because I've already written my whole first discovery in my article: How My Son was Stolen Part 1. I then knew exactly what was wrong with Ayden, Autism had stolen him from me, and he was only four months old.
A very good resource, for me, was The Autism Screening Test. Though it isn't scientific, this may give you some idea as to if your child could be on the spectrum or not. I looked it up when my eldest daughter was banging her head on her crib as a toddler, and she did not have Autism. But because I remembered some signs and symptoms that were listed in this screening test, I was able to catch Ayden's Autism right when he developed it.
Symptoms of Autism
Major symptoms of Autism are as follows:
Insistence on routines; apprehensive to change
Dislike of being touched
Abnormal obsession/attachment to specific objects
Any loss of speech, babbling, or social skills at any age.
No or few expressions of emotion by six months (i.e. not smiling when smiled at)
No/minimal eye contact
What causes autism?
Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes Autism, though there are a lot of speculation on the subject. A minute number of cases can be linked to a genetic disorders such as Fragile X, Tuberous Sclerosis, and Angelman's Syndrome, as well as exposure to environmental agents such as infectious ones (maternal rubella or Cytomegalovirus) or chemical ones (Thalidomide or Valproate) during pregnancy. Though some mothers and doctors contribute vaccinations to the development of Autism in kids. Personally, I think it's possibly a combination of vaccines, allergic reactions, environment, and air pollutants. Hopefully in the near future we'll be able to find a care for this horrible epidemic that are plaguing our children, but until then, we need to educate ourselves and the people around us.
What factor(s) do you believe Autism comes from?
Signs of Autism
So you think your child's Autistic, what do you do now?
If you're reading this Hub, maybe you suspect someone you know could be Autistic, so what do you do now?
- Trust your motherly/fatherly intuition. 9 times out of 10 your gut instinct is correct.
- Talk to a professional. Speak with your child's Pediatrician about an Autism Screening Test and ask to be referred to a Developmental Pediatrician for further assessment.
- Write everything down. Questions, concerns, behavior of the child, comments, etc., write them all down. You'll want reference when speaking with the Pediatricians.
- Ask questions. Ask questions. Ask questions, and did I mention to ask questions? You aren't expected to know everything about Autism, and questions are the best way to get answers. Some doctors can seem a bit irritated, like my son's developmental pediatrician, but if a doctor tells you not to worry, ask when you
should start to worry.
- Start early! I can't stress this enough! Don't suspect your child has Autism when they're 2-years old, and wait until they're 5-years old to mention it to your child's pediatrician that you have a concern.
Learn the Signs!!!
Signs to Look For
Not all Autistic kids are the same, but here are some blatant behavior problems some Autistic kids can have:
- Violent Tantrums/Meltdowns
- Head Banging
- Flapping Arms
- Rocking back and forth
- Poor/Lack of speech
- Lack of awareness of danger
- Unusual or repetitive play
- Echos words and/or phrases
- May avoid eye contact