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Kid Companions- Chewelry: Apr 14, 2010

April 14, 2010

Red Flag Signs of Autism

Welcome to the "Best of the Best" visitors!

Parents, grandparents and daycare or preschool providers who see a child often are most able to notice the developmental red flags indicating problems.

Your family doctor can check height, weight, skeletal structure and during the brief time he spends with your young child, except to note obvious physical problems, he/she may not be adequately trained to notice early signs of Autism.

If you are worried, trust your intuition. Have an evaluation team of professionals including a psychologist, speech therapist and occupational therapist see your child. Time is of the essence, because the earlier autism is diagnosed, the more likely it is that treatment will be effective.

While still a baby or toddler, parents should be looking for signs of ASD. If your baby shows three or more of these signs seek immediate evaluation by professionals.

Social problems:

~does not have a big smile or happy expression by 6 months or thereafter
~ has no back-and-forth sharing of smiles, sounds, or facial expressions by 9 months.
~ does not respond when child’s name is called by 10 months
~ has little eye contact
~ pulls back when you lift them up
~ prefers to play alone or with objects versus play with other children

Communication problems:

~has no babbling, pointing, or other communicative gestures by 12 months
~has not spoken a single word by 16 months
~has speech cadence that is not normal-pitch, voice quality
~ repeats sounds over and over
~loss of language or social skills at any age

 Repetative behaviors:

~appears to become overwhelmed by certain sounds and noises
~ obsesses with certain objects
~ repeats same motion with hands, fingers, feet or whole body
~ repeats motion while handling objects

If your child worries you, trust your parental instincts and do not delay in having your child evaluated.
The window of opportunity to make the most impact for a better outcome for an autistic child is never too soon but it can be too late!

Can you add other first signs of Autism?
Which signs did you notice first?

Nancy Wiseman’s web site First Signs and her new book, Could It Be Autism?, are excellent resources for parents who have a baby with questionable behaviors.

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