Updated: Nov 18, 2019
The month of April has been designated as Autism Awareness Month. Unfortunately, there never seems to be much information set out to the public explaining what autism is and how it affects people. Therefore, as we close out the month, I wanted to shed some light on what autism is and how it effects people.
Autism effects the ability to communicate, is characterized by poor social skills, may include repetitive behaviors, and sensitivity to lights and loud sounds.
Autism is a spectrum and has a wide range of symptoms and ways that it affects each individual. Some people on the spectrum may be non-verbal, meaning they have limited ability to speak if any. There are those who may have difficulty adjusting to changes in their routine, those who exhibit repetitive patterns of behavior, or some who fixate on objects or activities.
Red flags for autism include:
1. Speech delay;
2. Poor eye contact;
3. May not respond when called;
4. May not liked to be touched;
5. Prefers to play alone;
6. May not point at objects.
If you have concerns about the red flags, talk to your pediatrician. If your concerns are not heard, request developmental screenings. Arm yourself with information so that you will be taken seriously.
The good thing is that early intervention has proven to create positive outcomes for those on the spectrum. There will be those who only see the limitations of what a child on the spectrum can do. However, with support and therapeutic intervention anything is possible, so never give up championing your child.