Know The 3 Early Autism Signs In Infants

Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. It is only one of the five pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). Although relatively new in the medical scene, autism has been around for a very long time. It is just recently that experts and professionals have made serious studies about it.

Most parents notice the early autism signs in infants upon reaching two or three years old. In some cases, parents notice the signs earlier, when their child reach infancy or about 12 to 18 months old. This is because autism varies in degree in every individual and the symptoms it shows.

Until today, there are still no known standard criteria in diagnosing children with the disorder. There's no single personality type that characterizes autism in infants. Some parents of children with ASDs describe their children as having been silent and well-behaved when they were babies while others describe their children as moody and easily gets irritated. There are also parents who describe their child as ordinary, without any signs of being different.

This is the reason why it is very important to carefully observe your child if suspecting ASD. Here are some of the early autism signs in infants: (categorized by the impairment caused by autism)

Impairment in communication development
- Do not babble, point or display signs of interest
- Delayed language skills
- Do not respond to his or her name when called
- Display signs of hearing loss
- Avoid eye contact or have different gaze
- Do not make meaningful gestures, instead they display unusual facial expressions

Impairment in social interaction
- Do not make meaningful gestures, instead they display unusual facial expressions
- Barely smile even if cuddled by parents
- Do not make meaningful gestures, instead they display unusual facial expressions
- Show lack of interest in the surroundings

Restricted and repetitive behavior
- Banging of head and rocking the body
- Flapping of hands
- Prefers the same food and likes to wear the same clothing

Aside from these 3 early autism signs in infants, it is also very helpful for parents to observe and compare their child from others in terms of their development. They can evaluate the physical, mental, language, and social developmental standards that normal children achieve. For instance, other one year old children may imitate their parents' actions when they clap or wave, or respond to their smiles, but you notice your child doesn't.

A research conducted also showed that an infant who has a brother or a sister diagnosed with autism is more likely to have the disorder also. This is one of the reason in which experts say that autism has a genetic basis. There is also strong evidence that it is caused an abnormal brain development early in the mother's prenatal life, possibly due to environmental factors such as alcohol, nicotine and drugs.

It is very important for parents to discover the early autism signs in infants so that treatments can be applied immediately. While there is still no know cure for autism, early intervention programs can significantly improve the development of a child.