Could Your Child be Autistic?
You are excited to bring your baby home and enjoy him as he grows. You want him to be healthy and happy. You want him to be bright and advanced but are a little puzzled by his development. You wonder, could he be Autistic?
Most Autistic children look normal as babies. Most may even be quite handsome or very pretty. You may notice that your child is not doing the same things as an older child in your family did or compared to a neighbor’s child the same age.
Here are some things to look for and bring to your pediatrician’s attention.
1. He does not react to you
Most babies will make eye contact if placed in a position to look at you. An autistic child might not look at you and seems indifferent to your presence. He does not gaze at you when you pick him up. When he is old enough to return your smile, he might not.
2. He does not enjoy physical contact
Most babies love to be hugged, bounced, or cuddled. The autistic baby might pull away, or act like he really does not care. He may even scream or cry until you put him down. He does not reach out for you to pick him up or hold him.
3. Visual problems
When you pick up a toy or treat and move it around him, he does not react. He acts like he does not see it. He does not follow your hands when you point things out. He does not copy something you do or imitate your facial expressions
4. Communication Problems
He does not make noises so you will notice him. He does not wave “bye, bye,” play peekaboo, or hide from you and laugh when you find him. He does not try to get your attention. He may not ask for help when he is old enough. He may cry in frustration because he is hungry or thirsty but he won’t point at what he wants.
As he gets older, he does not play with other children or with you. He does not try to use toys correctly. For instance, if you give him a small toy car, he may hold it upside down and spin the wheels endlessly instead of running it on a pretend road.
He may not try to play with a sibling or neighbor even at the age other kids play together.
Many autistic individuals hate change. They get upset if you move the furniture or paint a room. They may have tantrums if events are changed out of order or something unusual happens unexpectedly to change the day.
Some autistic persons adopt motions that soothe and comfort them. Many like to spin objects and will do it for hours. He might rock back and forth, flick something in front of their face, bang his head, or do some other strange thing.
Your Baby’s Pediatrician
Of course, bring any concerns you have about your baby or child to his physician’s attention. Kids grow and mature at different rates so there may be another problem instead of autism. She will test your child’s vision and hearing, make referrals as necessary, and recommend the best ways to take care of your little one.
This article is for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor with specific concerns or changes to your or your child's health.