Early Signs of Autism

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By dr. gromatzky
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  • 1. Martínez-Pedraza, Frances de L., and Alice S Carter. “Autism spectrum disorders in young children.” Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America vol. 18,3 (2009): 645-63. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2009.02.002
  • 2. Ozonoff, Sally et al. “The onset of autism: patterns of symptom emergence in the first years of life.” Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research vol. 1,6 (2008): 320-8. doi:10.1002/aur.53
  • 3. Webb, Sara Jane, and Emily J H Jones. “Early Identification of Autism: Early Characteristics, Onset of Symptoms, and Diagnostic Stability.” Infants and young children vol. 22,2 (2009): 100-118. doi:10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181a02f7f
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2. Communication and Language Skills

Similar to social skills, difficulties with communication affects 80-93% of those with Autism therefore making age appropriate communication another strong indicator.1Martínez-Pedraza, Frances de L., and Alice S Carter. “Autism spectrum disorders in young children.” Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America vol. 18,3 (2009): 645-63. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2009.02.002 Infants communicate by using sounds and gestures. It has been found that infants who are later diagnosed with Autism have a delay in their ability to produce sounds and have a simplified version of babbling. They also tend to not point or look at objects of interest which is an important developmental sign of communication with another person.3Webb, Sara Jane, and Emily J H Jones. “Early Identification of Autism: Early Characteristics, Onset of Symptoms, and Diagnostic Stability.” Infants and young children vol. 22,2 (2009): 100-118. doi:10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181a02f7f

The development of spoken language will vary from child to child and so using language as a measure of whether or not a child has Autism can have its limitations. That being said, about 20-25% of children with Autism are nonverbal and others may not begin to speak until 18 months. Toddlers with Autism may also struggle to combine a gesture with words. Other signs include less imitation of others, limited showing of pleasure, and engagement in less complex and purposeful play. 3Webb, Sara Jane, and Emily J H Jones. “Early Identification of Autism: Early Characteristics, Onset of Symptoms, and Diagnostic Stability.” Infants and young children vol. 22,2 (2009): 100-118. doi:10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181a02f7f

Autism

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