Autism is characterized by an individual’s reduced ability to communicate and engage in social relationships, and by the existence of repetitive behaviors. This neurological disorder occurs in 1 in 100 births.
It is a complex disease that affects the development of the child, is usually diagnosed around the age of 3, and there is no difference in its appearance in different cultures or social classes. It is more common in boys than in girls. and according to DSM-V belongs to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
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Signs to detect autism
Each person with autism experiences symptoms differently and with varying degrees of severity. However, the following 10 signs and symptoms are considered autism warning symptoms in children:
1. Disconnect with others
Autistic children are often distant or disconnected with relatives (parents, brothers and sisters, etc.). For example, they may appear to have no emotional connection with these people and not understand the difference between facial signals. In other words, children with autism often don’t react differently to a wrinkled nose or another person’s smile.
Studies of this disorder indicate that people with autism fail to formulate an explanation for the thinking or behavior of others. that is, they present a deficit in the theory of mind. Theory of mind refers to the ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes.
2. The apparent lack of empathy
Another common characteristic of children with autism, which also has to do with theory of mind, is that they find it difficult to empathize with others. While lack of empathy can be difficult to detect and assess effectively in infants and young children, there are specific signs that show a lack of empathy capacity.
Children with autism seem to have difficulty understanding or appreciating situations from the perspective of others. This is because they think everyone understands the world the way they do, which can cause confusion or the inability to anticipate or understand the actions of others.
3. They are indifferent to social interactions
The vast majority of children are naturally very sociable. However, children with autism do not spend time looking at other people’s faces, responding by hearing their names, mimicking other people’s facial expressions, or holding other’s hands during play. Instead, lyour autistic children often do not seem very interested in participating in normal child development games and activities, Including socializing and imitating others.
These signs start to appear at the age of 18 months, and as socialization with others continues, symptoms may become more noticeable. For example, at age 3, normal children often want to play with toys with other children. Children with autism, on the other hand, prefer to play alone..
4. Presence of emotional outbursts
In some cases, children with autism may exhibit disproportionate emotional reactions in seemingly normal situations. For example, blaming inappropriate for the context or physically aggressive behavior towards themselves (p.
They may seem unable to control their emotions and physical responses, especially when they are in new, strange, or stressful situations. Parents should carefully monitor their children’s social reactions throughout their development and become familiar with the important moments and behavioral expectations that a child should display when they reach a certain age. Although relatively rare, these types of emotional cramps should be considered and referred to a specialist, As this can help to make a correct diagnosis.
5. Delay in language development
At 2 years old, most babies begin to babble or imitate the language of those who interact with them, And utter a single word while pointing at an object or trying to get their parents’ attention.
However, children with autism don’t start babbling or talking until much later. In fact, some they don’t start showing significant language skills until they start working with a speech-language pathologist.
6. Subject to non-verbal communication
Due to the fact that autistic children do not develop verbal communication skills at the same time as normal children, they may show a propensity for non-verbal communication.
For example, they can use visual or physical means of communication, Like drawings or gestures to make requests or participate in a back-and-forth dialogue. Another telltale sign of autism is that children may show a decline in their verbal skills; for example, they may lose vocabulary.
7. Difficulty understanding figurative expressions
Often also autistic children they find it hard to understand that people sometimes express themselves figuratively. As mentioned, they do not get any secondary meaning from attitude or facial expressions, nor do they detect communication signals based on tone of voice; for example, they do not distinguish a happy tone of voice from a sad or angry tone of voice.
Another related symptom is that children with autism they tend to have a harder time distinguishing between what is real and what is fiction. Interestingly, children with autism can be very imaginatively alive, and some seem to prefer living in their own fantasy worlds.
8. Show repetitive behaviors
People with autism are more likely to exhibit repetitive behaviors.
For example, they can organize and rearrange the same group of objects, back and forth for long periods of time, or repeat the same word or phrase obsessively. It is one of the most easily identifiable symptoms.
9. Present Pica
Pica syndrome has been associated with autism for 30% of children with this disorder also have Pica.
This behavior is characterized by the ingestion of non-nutritive substances by children, such as soil, stones, paper or biological substances. Although Pica can also be seen in other young children, people with autism continue to practice this practice at an older age.
10. Sensitivity to external stimuli
Sensitivity to external stimuli is another early warning sign of autism. For example, people with autism may be stressed or agitated when exposed to specific noises, bright lights, particular smells or tastes, and some children with autism may avoid certain colors, clothes, sounds, lights or areas of the body. house for no apparent reason. .
However, they can also become extremely sensitive to certain stimuli, and they insisted on using certain clothes or colors, Rooms with bright lights or loud sounds, and enjoy playing or playing with some parts of the body. Many children with autism also experience emotional stress when they are deprived of their favorite stimuli.