Autism – Know the Signs and Symptoms #A2ZChallenge

A child with autism may not show the same behaviour as their peers. These children display behaviours which are not only challenging for them but also for people around them and they simply find other’s behaviour confusing.

Autism also addressed as an Autism spectrum disorder (this name was adopted in 2013), is a neuro-developmental disorder. The distinguishing features are repetitive and restricted patterns of behaviour along with a problem in communication and interaction. Autism is more obvious by the age of 2 years. It is 4 times more common in boys as compared to girls. Having said that girls are many times misdiagnosed.

Did you know: 1 in 68 children in India is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Click To Tweet

Symptoms of Autism:

Though the symptoms of autism are clearly visible by the age of 2, there are instances when it can be recognised earlier as well.

In 18 months old:

  • The child does not show attachment with the primary caregiver
  • Do not smile or this milestone is late
  • Do not show an urge to be picked up or being cuddled
  • Do not look people in the eye
  • Performs repetitive motions such as rocking, spinning in circles or flapping their hands
  • Do not like any change in their surroundings or routine

In 18 – 48 months old:

  • Like to be alone
  • Do not approach their caregiver for comfort even when tired, hurt or ill
  • Do not look at people in the eye
  • Do not imitate
  • Are unaware of people’s presence
  • Has delayed milestones
  • Has problems in comprehension and communication
  • The first words are late and unusual
  • Shows repetitive movements like clapping and flapping of hands
  • Spins objects in odd ways
  • Shows distress even over a slight change in environment
  • Shows an unreasonable demand in following the routines
  • Difficulty in toilet training
  • Has fears and learning disability

What causes Autism:

The main cause of autism is still a mystery. Autism a neurodevelopmental condition is still being investigated for the causes. However, some studies show that autism is caused by various factors like genes and environmental triggers. These affect the way a child’s brain develops.

  • Genes: Researchers believe that the genes a child gets from his/her parents could make them prone to autism. This is known as genetic predisposition. Autism is considered to run in families, though scientists are still trying to figure out the genes which are involved. Some signs of autism may be seen in rare genetic syndromes like Wiliams syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.
  • Environmental Triggers: The likelihood of having autism may increase in case the baby is premature, lack of oxygen at the time of birth and exposure to alcohol or certain medications like sodium valproate when in the womb.

You should know that if your child has autism you should not feel guilty. Also, the following do not cause autism:

  • Pollution
  • Diet of the mother
  • The way the father and mother have been raised
  • Maternal infections during pregnancy
  • Mercury compounds which are used as preservatives in vaccines

Source: Interactive Autism Network, Psychology Today, NHS, Action For Autism

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Shubhra Rastogi Written by:

Well, about me I can say that I am a certified dentist, healthcare analyst, medical writer and above all a mother of a 6-year-old. Most of my day to day activities revolve around her and she is my inspiration to start this blog. As a mother, I experimented with a lot of new things for my little one in a quest to find the best for her. I just want to share my experiences of being a happy and content mum.

32 Comments

  1. April 1, 2019
    Reply

    One our friends have an autistic child and seeing him I have realized that he is not intellectually challenged, it’s just that there are some developmental delays. I have seen people treating him badly and gently too. We need more awareness, education, support and acceptance for autism. This is such an informative post. Thanks for sharing.
    Shilpa Garg #AtoZChallenge

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, we still need awareness, education, support and acceptance for autism. Our society still treats them with pity. Rather they are beautiful humans with a clean heart.

  2. April 1, 2019
    Reply

    A really informative post. My cousin’s son has full-blown autism and he was informed that it is genetic.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you so much. My nephew also has autism. But he is the most lovable soul I have ever come across.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Suhasini

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, Pooja. Your theme is also very good.

  3. April 1, 2019
    Reply

    I was not aware of Autism. Thanks for sharing. I feel not only Autism If any child is suffering from any kind of problems we should understand and support them in every possible way.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      I totally agree with you Deepika.

  4. April 1, 2019
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this informative article. When I see autistic kids around me, I find them just differently abled. It’s the society which makes the road difficult to travel.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, indeed it is the society that makes the road difficult for them.

  5. April 1, 2019
    Reply

    Autistic child are special, they need special care. I don’t know if we have such institutions in India. Thank you for sharing symptoms. Please share where can one take such kids for education, employment etc.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Hi Abhijit, agreed that autistic children are special, but they can go to a normal school. My nephew goes to a normal school. And also they have one unique characteristic which is only their’s (my nephew is very good with gadgets). Sure I shall share other prospects for them as well.

  6. April 1, 2019
    Reply

    Very nice and informative post… And a very pertinent topic.. it’s time we are aware of the sensitivities involved and to spread the word to “Be human”.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks Kushal

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      I am glad that you liked the post. Thanks, Meena.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 1, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, the reluctance to know about autism makes it difficult to understand it. Thanks for passing by.

  7. April 2, 2019
    Reply

    1 in 68 is a startling statistic! Too bad we still don’t know what causes it. I hope we are getting closer to figuring that out.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 2, 2019
      Reply

      Hope so we find the cause pretty soon.

  8. April 2, 2019
    Reply

    Great information. As a social worker, I’ve worked with these kids. They are beautiful and gifted.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 2, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, Monique, these children are gifted, kind-hearted and wonderful.

  9. April 2, 2019
    Reply

    My brother in law, who was born in the 1950’s, is autistic. Back then it wasn’t understood at all and his life could have been very different (and his mother, my late mother in law, could have suffered a lot less). The incidence of autism in the United States continues to rise. Early intervention is so important, as is a lot of understanding, patience and education.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 2, 2019
      Reply

      Early intervention, patience and education are very important. My nephew is autistic and when he was diagnosed we were unaware of this. Then all of us studied and trust me he is a wonderful person.

  10. April 2, 2019
    Reply

    Autism is a difficult fact to face for parents. I know someone very close who is going through this and we only realized it much later. We are very proud of the baby tho, he is intelligent and it shows but that attachment issues remain.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 2, 2019
      Reply

      Yes, autism can be difficult for parents to face. My nephew is also autistic and we did not know about the condition before he was diagnosed.

  11. April 3, 2019
    Reply

    There’s a lack of understanding when it comes to disorders like Autism. Such informative posts are important to spread awareness to the masses. Thanks for writing this informative piece. Sharing with my friends and family.

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 4, 2019
      Reply

      Thankyou Neha

  12. April 14, 2019
    Reply

    An extremely informative blog . Dear Shubhra , may you keep on writing such informative blogs and enlightening the society whose interested in ur works… All the best

    • Shubhra Rastogi
      April 15, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks, a lot… this means a lot to me!

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