Autism is a brain development disorder which causes problems in social interaction, communication and the general behavior of the affected child. The early autism signs in infants start to appear as early as six months but typically infants are diagnosed only upon reaching 3 years old.
It is important for parents to be aware of the early autism signs in infants. Early identification is important so that interventions can be implemented and parents can also seek advice and help from experts and from autism organizations. Babies suspected to have the disorder should be observed further and must be checked by pediatricians or autism experts. Early intervention is important to the success of the different treatments for children with autism. This is the reason why it is best for parents to know the early autism signs in infants.
Here are the 4 early autism signs in infants every parent must know:
Unusual interaction with others
This is the most common of all the early autism signs in infants. Autism impairs the social development of a person. Hence, babies with autism have an unusual way of connecting with others. Upon reaching 6 months, normal infants can already interact with others. This is the period when they start smiling, pointing objects of interest, babbling, and making eye contact. On the other hand, autistic infants do not smile as much and have unusual gestures and facial expressions. It is also apparent that they look at other people differently. Their gaze tends to be brief and out of the corner of the eye. They also do not want to be cuddled as much even by their own parents and prefer to be alone than with other infants.
Have a repetitive and restricted behavior
Autistic persons have difficulty in adapting to changes. They like doing things the same way and eat the same type of foods for a long period of time. They also develop a fascination over a single object, toy, or pattern. It is also evident when they display strange repetitive movements. They like banging their head, rocking their body, and flapping their hands. Some of these movements can inflict self-injuries.
Lack of interest in the surroundings
Several studies conducted showed that babies with autism react differently when confronted with certain situations. When presented with a toy, they display less enthusiasm and less effort in grabbing it. Instead they become conscious and stare at the object differently. Other signs include not responding to one’s name and are unaffected by audible changes in the environment. This is why autism is sometimes associated with hearing disorder.
Extremely irritable mood
Infants with autism often have difficulties controlling their emotions. They cry and get irritated a lot. Although they are disinterested in their surroundings, there are times when they easily get provoked even by the slightest sound. They also get irritated even if their parents are cuddling them or even if they are just playing alone.
If you observe most of the early autism signs in infants in your own child, it is best if you consult a pediatrician or an expert immediately. The effects of autism can be minimized by adopting early intervention programs.