It’s a difficult subject to discuss but it’s one that should be when a concern arises. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be diagnosed in a person of any age but can be caught early by your San Antonio pediatrician when signs begin to appear. Though identifying symptoms is not the easiest thing to do, once identified a careful evaluation will properly diagnose autism and develop a personalized treatment plan. However, before we discuss the symptoms, let’s discuss the nature of autism spectrum disorder.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is actually a group of related brain-based disorders that affect a child’s behavior, social, and communication skills. This disorder affects 1 in 68 children and is more prevalent in males. It is so common, in fact, you may know someone who either has a child with autism or has it themselves. It is believed that autism has a multifactorial cause and there may be genetic and environmental links with none of them being linked to vaccines.
Our San Antonio pediatrics understands how difficult it can be to catch the earliest symptoms. Most children with autism will master early motor skills such as sitting, crawling, and walking on time, and delays in social and communication skills will most likely not be as obvious until 18 months to about 3 or 4 years of age. In fact, our San Antonio pediatric services have been explored by parents who can recall specific examples that suggested something was amiss but nothing that indicated there was a serious problem.
Autism is a disorder with no known cure and can affect each child in a different way. Some children can progress developmentally and learn new skills while some have the potential to improve so much they no longer meet the criteria for autism. The best way to intervene early is to bring your child to your San Antonio pediatrician for early diagnosis. The sooner you can have San Antonio pediatrics intervene, the better the outcome as each child has different needs.
What are the symptoms of autism?
While not every child will have the exact same symptoms, the criteria for autism referrals are somewhat standardized. Some examples of how a child with autism acts are:
- They don’t snuggle when picked up, but arch their back instead
- They don’t keep eye contact
- They don’t respond to parent’s smile or other facial expressions
- They do not look at objects or events parents are looking at or pointing to
- They are unable to perceive what others might be thinking or feeling by looking at their facial expressions
The communication differences include not saying single words by 15 months or at least 2-word phrases by 24 months. They also include not wanting to communicate and not responding to their name being called but responding to other sounds.
Behavioral differences include rocking, spinning, swaying, twirling fingers, or flapping hands. Your child may also exhibit behavior such as favoring routines, order, and particular rituals. They may also become obsessed with a few activities and insist on doing them repeatedly during the day.
While a diagnosis can be overwhelming, our San Antonio pediatrician will provide you with resources on how to manage it as well as develop a plan to help your child meet development milestones with it. For more information on autism, or to have your child examined, contact our caring and nurturing pediatricians at Parsi Pediatrics today at 210.561.1551.