EARLY DETECTION AND INTERVENTION ARE KEY TO RECOVERY… SO BE OBSERVANT!
As a parent or caregiver, you are in the best position to notice the earliest signs and symptoms of Autism in your child. Your Pediatrician does not spend the lengths of time with your child as you, or your caregiver does, so they may be more likely to miss out on certain cues during your child’s 15 min. visit that only happens every few months. This is why it is so important to check the “Childs Milestone Checklist” that you can get from your Pediatrician, or on the internet, and compare it to your child’s progress. Keep in mind that every child develops at different pace in different areas so your child may be advancing more in some areas and less in others, which can be completely normal. However, if you notice that your child is not meeting the milestones of his or her age, you need to monitor their development in those areas of concern more closely and communicate your concerns to your child’s Pediatrician.
Trust your instincts! A Parent knows best! Listen to your gut if it’s telling you something is wrong and be persistent in reporting any and all concerns to your child’s pediatrician. Schedule a follow-up appointment with the doctor, seek a second opinion, or ask for a referral to a child development specialist.
Many concerned parents are told, “Don’t worry” or “Wait and see.. they may outgrow it.” But waiting is the worst thing you can do! You risk losing valuable time at an age where your child has the best chance for improvement. Whether or not the delay is caused by autism or something else, it’s still a delay and in order to develop the proper skills to help them catch up, your child still needs extra help.
Regression of any kind is a serious autism warning sign
Some children with autism spectrum disorders start to develop communication skills and then regress, usually between 12 and 24 months. Any loss of speech, babbling, gestures, or social skills should be taken very seriously. Regression is a major red flag for autism.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive routine developmental screenings, as well as specific screenings for autism at 9, 18, and 30 months of age. Here is a “CHILD MILESTONE CHECKLIST” according to the (CDC) CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION;
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
One of the most popular autism checklists used by pediatricians is called the
M-CHAT (MODIFIED CHECKLIST FOR AUTISM IN TODDLERS) You can take this test online when your child is between 16-30 months. Take the test, print it out and bring it to your child’s Pediatrician.
Here is a link to the M-CHAT…