How do I know that my child has Autism?

Picture credit: Copyright (c) 2003 by Nancy J Price, Wikimedia Commons

By Zoha Anjum

To figure out if your child has Autism or to better explain it if your child falls on the spectrum, one must know what Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder is?

Autism spectrum disorder ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins initially in childhood and lasts throughout a person’s life. It majorly affects how a person acts, communicates, interacts with others and how they learn.

It is called a “spectrum” disorder because people with ASD can have a range of symptoms. It is very crucial to understand that every person with ASD might not have the same symptoms, the “spectrum” is very broad and every person might not have all of the symptoms present in them.

Some of the Early Red Flags for Autism are:

  • No babbling or the sounds ba, ma, ga that babies make before they can talk.
  • Absence of gestures such as pointing and showing, reaching to be picked up, waving, and shaking their head.
  • Lack of shared enjoyment, which is when a child hardly smiles or laughs when playing with a caregiver.
  • Repetitive actions such as flapping hands and rocking.
  • Poor eye contact when communicating or playing with people.
  • Limited play with toys or plays with just a part of the toy e.g. a wheel instead of the whole toy.
  • No imitation or copying other people’s actions like clapping hands, banging table, or speech sounds.
  • Not responding to their name when called, due to difficulties with paying attention and understanding language.