STATES CHRONICLE – Seeing as it’s still April, the International Autism Awareness Month, we’ll stay blue a little while longer and keep talking about the condition. Increasingly more common in recent times, Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the conditions that can affect each individual in a totally different way.
For example, some may be on the spectrum and never find out about it, the condition affecting them being so limited in its effects so as to not even register, while other can be so far up the spectrum that they’ll need assistants for the rest of their lives if they want to do even the most simple actions.
And the sad part is that the condition is very vaguely understood. Few absolute things are known about autism, so it’s very difficult to approach the treatment of someone on the spectrum. It was only last month that researchers realized that people on the spectrum tend to live much shorter lives than the average, with most committing suicide or dying from complications such epilepsy.
But seeing as the month is already two-thirds over, we’ve decided to talk some more about the symptoms associated with the conditions. Timely treatment can greatly influence the chances of survival for these patients, so here are a few signs that your baby is on the autism spectrum. We are going to approach these from a developmental point of view.
By the time that your infant turns two months old, they should start responding to loud noises. Things like a vacuum cleaner or a dog barking nearby should trigger a response. If they don’t, it’s cause for concern.
At four months, the baby should be able to track movement. Somebody on the autism spectrum may not be able to track, say, a spoon making airplane noises, or they might show obvious efforts to do so.
By six months, infants should already start gesturing. Whether it’s reaching for something, grasping the air, or making other movements to suggest they want something, six-month-olds grasp the concept of gestures. Infants on the autism spectrum can’t really do that.
At nine months old, infants should be able to sit independently, start babbling, and even engage in vocal imitation and socialization (no actual words are yet spoken, except for maybe the ma-ma or da-da). Again, failure to do so may be cause for concern.
One-year-old infants can use gestures to communicate, not only to indicate what they want. Waving their hands, shaking their heads, actively pointing to objects are all par for the coursed, and failing to do so may indicate something unpleasant.
Finally, at two years old, children should already start using short sentences, like “okay mama” or “what is that?” Once again, if they don’t, there might something more behind it.
In order to ease some concerns, these are just a few signs that were associated with autism spectrum disorder. Not performing one or two of the actions described above is not an immediate sign of anything dire, but failing at most of them could indicate either developmental issues or autism. If any concerns are raised, you should immediately address a trusted physician.
Image source: Wikimedia