Parents often ask me, what is autism in a baby, or is my baby autistic? and it can be hard to answer that question. Autism in babies manifests itself in many different ways and with varying levels of severity. You won’t know if your child has autism until they are older. So the answer can only be determined by observing their behavior. If you have concerns about your child’s behavior, it may help to keep these five signs of autism in mind while they are still young. So you can get them the proper care as soon as possible.
The Causes of Autism in baby
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability characterized by problems with social skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. ASD is one of five disorders included under an umbrella diagnosis called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Although it’s not fully understood what causes autism, many experts believe that it’s caused by a combination of factors, including genetic factors. In fact, autism in babies tends to run in families. And it’s possible that environmental or lifestyle factors may make some people more susceptible than others. For example, children exposed to rubella or alcohol during pregnancy have a higher risk of developing ASD. The good news? Research shows that early intervention can significantly improve development for children with autism and their families.
Signs and Symptoms
It’s normal for babies and toddlers to develop some of their speech skills later than other children, but that doesn’t mean they have autism. Signs of autism in baby includes social and emotional delays, difficulty communicating with others (especially as they get older), repetitive behaviors, issues with physical coordination and clumsiness, and extreme sensitivity to changes in routine or environment. If you notice these issues starting in early childhood (younger than 2 years old), talk with your pediatrician right away. You can also take an autism screening test yourself.
Treatments for Autism in baby
There is no cure for autism, but there are a number of treatments that can help children diagnosed with autism. The most commonly prescribed medication for autistic children is Risperidone. It’s an antipsychotic drug designed to treat a variety of conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, it also has some uses when it comes to treating behaviors associated with autism and epilepsy. Indeed, some doctors believe its effectiveness stems from its ability to reduce seizures.
How Can We Help Our Children?
The early signs of autism can be hard to detect in a baby, especially if your child is just a toddler. In fact, some children are not diagnosed until they are 5 or even 6 years old. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention if you think something may be amiss with your baby. The most important thing you can do is to remain calm and seek help from your pediatrician as soon as possible. Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options available for autistic babies and young children. It’s never too late for a child with autism who has been delayed—or for a parent who wants their child to succeed despite challenges.
How Can Doctors Diagnose Autism?
Doctors typically diagnose autism in babies with a combination of behavioral observation and evaluations. If you think your child might have autism, start by consulting your pediatrician. Your doctor will likely begin by running a battery of tests to rule out other conditions. Including hearing problems, attention deficit disorder, and intellectual disabilities) that could be mistaken for autism. The evaluation may take anywhere from several weeks to three months. But it’s important to find out if there are underlying causes that need treatment.
Autism is a lifelong condition. The earlier it’s detected, the better prepared you and your child will be. The earlier autism is diagnosed, interventions can begin. Some children with autism learn how to read, write and use basic math skills, while others are nonverbal. Some need full-time care. Others are able to live on their own and hold down jobs as adults. Early intervention makes a big difference in helping children reach their full potential—be it independence or finding success within your local community college or workplace setting. But parents also have choices when it comes to treatment options for their baby.