Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of alterations of the central nervous system, of biological origin, that affect the development of the person and remain present throughout their life cycle . These alterations occur in the field of communication, social interaction, imagination, language and behavior.
It is important that you pay close attention to the warning signs so that you identify if your child really has autism so that he can be diagnosed as soon as possible and act immediately to achieve progress from an early age.
It is recommended that medical professionals conduct interviews with the parents of children from 18 months of age, to ensure that your child is in perfect condition and does not suffer from any developmental disorders or a possible ASD.
Early intervention in these cases is of utmost importance so that your child’s development is as good as possible both at the time of diagnosis and in future ages, that is, in the long term, and thus work on the skills that are affected to get the maximum potential of the child .
The M-CHAT is the most widely used instrument that provides information on the possible warning signs that you should take into account to know if your child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is important that you know that this instrument does not diagnose autism, but it does give you some approaches so that you are alert in some aspects of your child, and it will bring you closer to a possible diagnosis in future situations.
If after taking the test your child meets several guidelines that coincide with a person who may have ASD, you should take your child to the psychologist so that he can take the relevant standardized tests and thus finally determine whether or not your child has ASD. for further diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE RED FLAGS?
In the first place, at a very early age you will notice how your child does not intend to communicate with you unless it is in his own interest , that is, unless he wants something he likes, is hungry or any other request that he has. convenient at the time. If he communicates with you, there may not be eye contact.
The social smile is also a mode of communication that develops in children from 3 months. If your child does not smile at you in response to something you say, it may be a sign that you should be alert, although this does not mean that your child has an ASD. We remind you that this is only an approach, your child may not meet some of the test items but you should not anticipate certain events, let a professional assess it.
There is also the possibility that your child will not stop crying all day and you do not know what he wants or what can happen to him. This happens because he has emotional regulation problems , he himself does not know what is happening to him and he may not know how to communicate it, which can cause him some frustration.
If you go to a park, you will see how children want to play with other children. Although there are many who do not want to share their toys or want to be alone, they will always have the intention of communicating. On the other hand, if your child has ASD, he may not have as much interest in interacting socially with other children .
Babies and children always try to claim the attention of the adult (especially the main caregiver), so that they look at them and pay attention to them. A baby or child with ASD will not want as much attention as others , so if you call or you are the one who requires their attention, they will not turn if you call their name they will show a lack of interest in games such as tickling and may want to avoid contact physical with other people.
Children love to imitate and this will also be a great difficulty for children with ASD since they will not know how to do it or will have more difficulty . When it comes to playing with toys, they may repeatedly manipulate it more than normal or begin to line them up senselessly, spin them non-stop, stack them in the same way and, ultimately, always play with them in the same way without being imaginative. .
RED FLAGS FOR LANGUAGE AND COGNITION
Another red flag is to observe that your child does not babble or makes strange noises and no more than three or four words by the age of 14 months. At about 12 months, you should understand basic rules such as: “come here”, “not that”, “sit down”, “let’s go”, and so on.
At 6 months, a normal behavior is for your 6-month-old baby to look for an object that you have hidden near him (behind his back, under a cushion, under your hand …). If it doesn’t, you may see some signs of delayed cognitive development in your child.
In the same way, it may happen that your child has a normal cognitive development during the first 18 months, and that from this age you notice a regression and have stopped speaking or no longer have certain language skills that they had previously acquired .
You must bear in mind that all this information does not determine whether or not your child has ASD . These are just some warning signs that should be taken into account so that the diagnosis, in the case of having ASD, is acquired as early as possible in order to act and enhance what you need.
If your child finally has ASD, think that there are many people who will be by your side, both family and professionals, and will do everything possible so that both the family and your child are happy and all your needs are covered.
Finally, it is vitally important that you bear in mind that all children with ASD are not the same, each one has its own affectation and the intervention with each person will depend on them. Thus, the M-CHAT questionnaire cited above is also purely intuitive , you should not take for granted something that has not been verified by a professional.