Learn the early signs of autism in children. They may occur as young as 12 to 24 months of age. Luckily, theres a variety of treatment options available.
Signs of autism may show up in children as early as 12 to 24 months of age. Knowing what early signs to look for can make a huge difference when it comes to getting proper treatment.
According to the Autism Canada Foundation, many physicians aren’t trained to recognize the early signs of autism. Physicians may hesitate to make a diagnosis of autism due to a belief that it’s incurable.
Early developmental signs of autism
Be aware of these developmental, emotional, and behavioural problems in your child. They warrant investigation by a health care practitioner:
- doesn’t develop language skills
- begins to develop language skills, then loses them
- may not respond to sounds, seems to be deaf
- may not respond to sounds in an appropriate way
- doesn’t point and look at things
- doesn’t bond with parents
- has limited imagination when it comes to play
- not interested in playing with other kids
Early physical signs of autism
- has problems sleeping
- wakes up during the night
- may have a reaction to vaccines
- eats a limited diet
- may develop chronic gastrointestinal problems
- may have repeated infections
Treatment options for children
With early diagnosis, there are a range of treatment options available for children. These include
- nutritional modifications to diet, including gluten-free and yeast-free diets
- supplementation options ranging from vitamin B6 and magnesium to digestive enzymes
- behavioural therapies (the most popular is called Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)
- speech, language, and communication therapies
- auditory integration to enhance how a child hears
- sensory integration to allow a child to balance all of his or her senses
- vision therapy to improve a child’s ability to coordinate their central and peripheral vision, focus, etc.
A wide range of alternative therapies are also being used to help children with autism, including
- osteopathic medicine
- cranial sacral
- art therapy
- music therapy
- service dogs
- swimming therapy
- therapeutic recreational activities
Seek help immediately if your child appears to be developing normally and then regresses. The Autism Canada Foundation urges parents to seek a second opinion if a health care practitioner takes a “wait and see” attitude about their child. Children’s brains are adaptable, and by seeking help as soon as possible, your child will benefit most.