We watch our babies grow and all we dream of is for them to become healthy, happy, normal human beings. We hate it when our friends” ™ and neighbors” ™ kids of the same age do something or learn something before our kids. We know that all kids are different and even our pediatrician tells us that there is nothing to worry about if our kids do not start talking or walking or smiling when all other kids do. But, even if we know very little about what normal children development should be, we do know our kids. We know when something is wrong. If you feel that your child is not acting ” ˜normal” ™, do not wait, find out what is wrong. If your child has autism, every day you wait puts you and your child further from the help and cure.
Autism is defined as a developmental disorder caused by abnormal chemistry and biology in child”s brain. This disorder appears in children between 18 months and five years. It affects child”s social and communication skills to various degrees. While scientists do not know what exactly causes autism, they believe that a combination of factors, leading with genetics, is at play.
There are more than one million of Americans diagnosed with autism, and probably thousands of others that have never been diagnosed. Until recently, our definition of autism differed greatly from the one used today. Many kids will never be diagnosed and will never get needed help because they are considered ” ˜strange” ™, ” ˜weird” ™, ” ˜difficult” ™ and not sick, as they should be.
How to recognize autism in your child
Most people link autism with the Rain Man character from the movie. But, autism shows up in a very different form in each child. Here are some alarm signals to look for:
- Any change in routine is followed with tantrum
- Child keeps repeating the same movement or is severely attached to certain objects
- Child uses gestures instead of words to communicate
- Looks ” ˜through you” ™ and cannot focus
- Keeps repeating words or phrases
- Cannot begin or maintain a conversation
- Does not like to play games and prefers to be alone
- Does not react to sudden noise or is overly sensitive to noise
- Has intense and frequent tantrums
- Is very aggressive to him/herself or to others
We are long way from the time of the Rain Man. There are many therapies appropriate for different kinds of autism symptoms available today. Early diagnosis, appropriate therapies and regular medical care can greatly improve your child”s behavior. While most autistic people retain some symptoms throughout their lives, many can completely recover and lead normal, productive lives. Autism affects not only children, but their whole families. If your child is diagnosed with autism, do not despair. Look for help, educate yourself and join a support group. You will learn from other parents as much as you will learn from your doctor.
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