Children develop at different rates. Development is monitored by checking whether children are achieving various important milestones, which can be physical, emotional, social, linguistic or behavioural.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are very different from each other. One child might have only a few characteristics, and another might have many. In very young children, it can be hard to detect the early signs. But infants with ASD do develop differently from other infants, and there are some ‘red flags’ to watch out for.
Some early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – usually seen in the first two years – are listed below.
1. Poor eye contact
-Does not give visual regard when you are calling, playing, or interacting with them.
2. Unresponsiveness to name
-Inconsistent response to name. May respond after being called out a couple of times or may not respond at all.
3. Lack of imitation of movements and facial expressions
-Does not learn through imitation of movements and sounds
4. Delay in cooing and babbling
-Does not babble or coo by 12 months
5. Copies what he/she hears from others or from the TV (echolalia)
-When u ask if he/she wants more water, he/she echoes back “more water”
6. May only repeat commercials from TV
-Repetitive Behaviors like :Flapping hands, arching-back, walking on toes, staring from the corner of the eye, spinning self or running in circles.
7. Infrequent seeking of attention
-He/she doesn’t look at a parent then at a snack to show he/she wants it
-Will not make noises or actions to make sure they have drawn your attention to something interesting that they have seen.
He/she will drop a toy in your lap, instead of holding it up in front of you to play.
8. Lack of gesturing
-Pointing, waving, grasping etc.
9. Doesn’t initiate or respond to cuddling/ Doesn’t reach out to be picked up
-May not relate to familiar people or touch; treat people like objects
-Lack of empathy
10. Doesn’t play with other people or share interest and enjoyment
-Will engage in activities like flicking the light switch off and on, turning the wheels of a toy car or lining up objects.
-Very interested in unusual objects or activities – for example, drains, metal objects, or watching a specific ad on TV.
11. Extremely sensitive to sensory experiences
-Easily upset by certain sounds, or will eat only foods with a certain texture
12. Seeks sensory stimulation
-Rubs objects on his mouth, or face, or seeks vibrating objects like washing machines, or flutters his fingers to the side of his eyes to watch the light flicker.
Dr. Bindi Vora is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Sensory Integration Specialist. She has done her post graduation from University of Southern California and is currently working in a clinical set-up and also with a school for children with special needs.
She loves creative activities and believes that the work involved in a child’s development should include play and fun. As a therapist, she tries to bring in novelty in her therapy sessions to keep the children actively involved.
You can reach her on Tel: 9833121097 Email: email@example.com