How can the parents recognize Autistic features?

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Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child. In some cases, the baby seemed "different" from birth, unresponsive to people or focusing intently on one item for long periods of time. The first signs of an autism spectrum disorder can also appear in children who had been developing normally. When an affectionate, babbling toddler suddenly becomes silent, withdrawn, self-abusive, or indifferent to social overtures, something is wrong. The impairment in social interaction can be elicited by lack of appropriate eye contact, enjoying playing alone not mixing with other children of his/her age, although the child may enjoy the company of children younger or elder. "They are in their own world and withdraw into themselves".
The absence of normal pretend play is common in autistic children. Odd play may take the form of interest in parts of objects instead of functional uses of objects. These children may enjoy repeatedly spinning or rotating objects such as wheels, fans and other moving objects. They may not use language meaningfully such as in conversations or asking questions in a logical sequence. These children may continuously repeat certain songs; words or rhymes (echolalia) and they may not begin or continue conversations. Pronominal reversals are common in autistic children, including saying "you" instead of "I". The protodeclarative pointing is absent in autistic children. These children may respond to questions by gestures or leading adults by the hand. Some autistic children are non-verbal. Many autistic children seem to have dysfunction in sensory integration, the sensory experiences being tactile, vestibular, olfactory, auditory, visual, proprioceptive and pull of gravity. In autistic children these senses may be hyperfunctioning or hypo functioning or may result in the person experiencing interference. Some children with autism may show hyperactivity or extreme restlessness and others may show over passivity. Early TV exposure at ages 1 and 3 is associated with attention problems at age seven.
Autism may/may not be associated with a wide range of fine and gross motor impairments such as skilled movement and eye-hand co-ordination, speed praxis and imitation, gait, posture and balance. 70% of autistic children have nonverbal IQ below 70, about 50% below 50 and only 5% above 100. Occasionally some autistic children are relatively high functioning with speech and intelligence intact and some are supra normal with or without defects in executive functions. Some autistic children may show good pictorial memory.
By.Dr. Sai Karthikeyan
Posted in Autism on March 15 at 12:48 PM

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