A child “on the spectrum” is what some people would refer to a child who is diagnosed with autism. This has also been mentioned in https://www.urgentteam.com/. Autism is not limited to just one particular type of condition. Instead, autistic conditions may vary in challenges that include trouble with social skills, learning disorders, repetitive behaviors and speech and nonverbal communication, to name a few.
Genetics or environmental influences can be the primary cause of autism. Usually, a child with the disorder will show signs at around the age of 2-3 years. However, it is also possible to detect the symptoms that cause a developmental delay as early as six months and may be developed as early as 18 months.
Signs To Watch Out For
The upside to identifying autism symptoms early is that as soon as they are recognized, the conditions can be addressed and treated right away. As a parent, you are in the best position to notice once your child may be showing alarming signs that don’t seem normal. Janeen Herskovitz, MA, LMHC said, “There are sensory issues to consider, educational decisions to be made, medical interventions, safety concerns, and therapeutic decisions, to name just a few.” If you think your child may have autism, here are a few symptoms to watch out for:
- 6 Months:
- No social smiles or joyful expression
- Limited to no eye contact
- 9 Months:
- Absence of vocal sounds
- No nonverbal interaction
- 12 Months:
- No babbling or “baby talk”
- No gestures in communication
- Does not respond when name is called
- 16 Months:
- No use of words
- 24 Months:
- Does not communicate with meaningful words
Be mindful that although these may be typical signs that indicate a child may be developing autism, some children without autism may also be showing these signs, and a child with autism may not be showing these signs. Seek a professional’s help once you notice these symptoms, so that proper and further evaluation can take place.
What Do I Do?
Below are some tips which are also found at www.momjunction.com that can serve as a guide for parents with a child dealing with autism:
1.Keep yourself educated. Know your child’s condition so that you know exactly what to do in certain circumstances. Keep yourself updated on current research findings.
2.Seek therapists and support groups. It is no question that nobody can handle going through this alone. Seek a therapist to help your child develop and facilitate his skills, as well as address specific problems autism brings. Seek support groups, so that you can share your experience with people going through the same thing, and allow each other to support and gain strength out of this challenge. John Cutrone, LMHC, MCAP, CAS said, “Therapy will help you learn many new skills, including socialization, maintaining friendships & other relationships, increasing ability to gain & maintain employment, increasing ability to express feelings in a healthy manner, seeking positive outlets, & much more.”
3.Immerse yourself in your child’s world. Apart from researching to know the condition better, nothing gives you a better perspective than stepping into your child’s world. Allow yourself to experience what they experience so that you get to know them better.
4.No matter how challenging it will be, take your child out into the world. “Often, kids, teens and adults on the spectrum spend a lot of time trying to be “normal”, fighting sensory overload and overwhelm, fending off personal quirks, and trying so hard to “fit in”,socially and otherwise.” says Karla Helbert, LPC, E-RYT, C-IAYT. As important as it is to step into your child’s world, it is also essential that you allow your child to step into your world. You might receive unwanted attention when your child is out among people, but it is crucial to your child’s happiness, and perhaps even yours. Doing this will help in allowing your child to try different things, and eventually, he or she will be able to do a lot of things on their own.
No doubt that having a child with special needs is indeed very challenging. And you have to admit; it isn’t a breezy ride. Luckily there are tons of resources like SheKnows website and people who come together to give support and help autism parents help their child going through the condition.