AUTISM spectrum disorder (ASD) covers a broad range of symptoms, and cases don’t always look the same. Many patients are challenged, to varying degrees, with social skills, speech, and nonverbal communication.
Since each child’s development is unique, it isn’t surprising that most parents face the difficulty of deciding whether their child’s symptoms are worrisome or not. Makati Medical Center, a top hospital in the Philippines, lists down some of the more common signs to look out for in your child.
Parents may notice poor eye contact or difficulty engaging their infant in social interaction. The child may have trouble responding to his name or to physical contact, according to Ana Maria M. Treichler-Borgaily, MD, Head of the Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at MakatiMed.
A child with autism, for instance, may not be able to respond to you when you cuddle him. He may also be incapable of pointing to objects or making a sound to get your attention. Children with ASD may therefore appear to be unengaged and antisocial.
When it comes to speech, a simple delay in learning words may not be the only clue to possible ASD. Some children may learn to speak but will do so using odd tones and intonations. They may exhibit echolalia (where they repeat words and sounds said to them) or have difficulty with pronouns. Conversational skills may also a problem.
Children with ASD like structure, and so they often throw tantrums when you change their bedtime or rearrange the furniture in the house. They may also form obsessive interests, line things up in a certain order or stare at a single object for extended periods of time. Sometimes, a child may seem to be developing normally but certain milestones that were already achieved suddenly disappear.
The possibility of a child being autistic is a challenging prospect for parents, but Dr. Treichler-Borgaily reminds them that “observing one or two symptoms in your child does not a diagnosis make. “ The disorder is diagnosed based on the presence of multiple factors that disrupt his ability to explore, communicate, build relationships, learn and play. It is therefore very important to consult with medical professionals to get a proper diagnosis.
To learn more about ASD, or to consult with a doctor about your child’s development, you may book an appointment at MakatiMed where ASD is addressed holistically and strategically by highly skilled professionals.