Autism is one of the core autism spectrum disorders which will affect many aspects of life for those who are diagnosed with it. The signs and symptoms of autism are quite varied, however unlike other types of spectrum or behavioral disorders, they are pronounced and prevalent at a very early age. It is most important that autism is noticed and diagnosed at as early of an age as possible so that treatment and care can begin to enhance motor skills, learning and socialization.
One of the reasons autism is difficult to identify and diagnose is that there are several types, and because although the symptoms are common across the board, the degree or severity of those symptoms will greatly vary. While some with autism have severe learning disabilities and pronounced behavioral issues, others suffer only mild symptoms that may even be evident and then disappear for periods of time intermittently.
Regardless of the severity of the characteristics and symptoms, those who have autism will experience difficulties to varying degrees in three main areas:
- Emotional and behavioral development
- Learning and objective skills
Since parents are interconnected with their infants and children they are often able to ascertain how their development is coming along and recognize when their child is not performing or developing at an expected or normal rate. Because those with autism will fail to develop in key areas, much of these delays will become obvious to parents quite early on. If you suspect that your child exhibits any of the below mentioned challenges or is lagging in development, it is important that you take them to see a health care professional right away so that a thorough examination and testing can be given in relation to a diagnosis.
Autism can be hard to diagnose prior to 18 months because your baby’s brain is still developing and some infants truly do develop slower than others. Still, parents should keep a close watch to see if their infant is hitting milestones as expected even prior to 18 months. Most infants are diagnosed with autism at or around 18 months and even more so at 24 months when development is more prominent.