Dr Mariam Haider and Dr Tanya Soomro talk about some important signs and symptoms of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Signs of autism can differ depending on the age and severity of the condition. These signs first start to become noticeable during early childhood. It is very important to look for signs of autism as early as possible because early intervention can significantly improve the lives of autistic individuals.
Some important signs of Autism to look for are
- Genetics can play a role in increasing the risk of developing autism. This includes chromosome conditions such as tuberous sclerosis.
- Higher parental age, the more chances of autism in children
- Lack of or delay in speech in terms of age appropriate milestones.
- Echolalia (repetition of speech).
- Repeat actions (hand flapping, swinging head/body back and forth).
- Little or no eye contact.
- Difficulty interacting and socialising with people (talk, play etc).
- Fixation on objects and activities.
- Lack of attachment (avoid cuddling, hugging).
- Have trouble adapting to changes in routine (sleep cycle, daily activities etc).
Parents must observe their children and if there is any doubt, you must consult your child's doctor who will perform a screening and a formal evaluation if necessary. Screening and evaluation of autism is done by a team of specialists including a neurologist, speech therapist and paediatrician.
There are different signs for autism at different ages as well. Even teen and adults should look out for symptoms of being autistic. Each individual with autism shows different amounts of these behaviours and only a doctor can determine if a person is autistic.
You can find out more about autism in children including a complete list of signs and symptoms by age groups here, or if you’re an adult, you can read more here.