If there’s one thing that scares me, somewhat, it’s the thought of my youngest daughter becoming autistic because of something I didn’t protect her against. Therefore my knowing autism symptoms, any signs of autism, even having an autism checklist is a safeguard. What’s the adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
We have an extended family member with autism. It’s a disheartening and saddening sight to see and know the life of a child is only half-lit, at best. I was just reminded a few months ago, too, how another member of the family was damaged, never in this life to be the same, by the doctors who were supposed to be helping him, not permanently damaging him, though it’s not autistic-related.
I say all of that to say this: you are the steward of your child’s health. If you don’t understand or agree with what a doctor is about to do to your child, by all means, stop everything! Stop everything and figure out what you need to figure out for your child. You, alone, have your child’s best interest at heart. Others, such as doctors, may say they have your child’s best interest in mind but it is really you who has their best interest in mind more than anyone else in the world. So if something doesn’t jibe right with you, say something and/or do something. You very well could be keeping your child’s life light from being dimmed down to a low flicker rather than the normal sunshine bright that is children.
That’s not to say there aren’t honest, level-headed doctors who aren’t full of themselves, like so many doctors tend to be today. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, even wrongly influence someone. Just remember doctors, while educated in medicine, still aren’t near as smart about the human experience as the world likes to make them out to be, including all things autism.
Autism Symptoms and Signs of Autism: Autism Symptoms Checklist
What we do know is autism symptoms or signs of autism show up early in an infant’s life and through the early childhood years. Age doesn’t matter although according to the National Institute of Mental Health, “some of the characteristic behaviors of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may be apparent in the first few months of a child’s life, or they may appear at any time during the early years.” NIHM goes on to say,” all children with ASD demonstrate deficits in 1) social interaction, 2) verbal and nonverbal communication, and 3) repetitive behaviors or interests. In addition, they will often have unusual responses to sensory experiences, such as certain sounds or the way objects look. Each of these symptoms runs the gamut from mild to severe. They will present in each individual child differently. For instance, a child may have little trouble learning to read but exhibit extremely poor social interaction. Each child will display communication, social, and behavorial patterns that are individual but fit into the overall diagnosis of ASD”
Autism Symptoms Checklist or Diagnostic Checklist: Note: The following is from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association):
• Problems relating socially and communicating socially –sustained odd play, uneven gross/fine motor skills
• Difficulty in mixing with other children; prefers to be alone; aloof manner; difficulty in expressing needs; uses gestures or pointing instead of words.
• Not responsive to verbal cues, acts as deaf, little or no eye contact, insistence on sameness; resist changes in routine, noticeable physical over activity or extreme under activity
• Abnormal responses to one or a combination of senses, such as sight, hearing, touch, balance, smell, taste, reaction to pain.
• Tantrums; displays extreme distress for no apparent reason
• Speech and language absence or delays. Inappropriate laughing and giggling. Echolalia (repeating words or phrases in place of normal language)
• Abnormal ways of relating to people, objects and events (In appropriate attachment to objects, don’t seek cuddling) Spins objects.
May no autism symptoms, signs of autism or anything in the above autism symptoms checklist show up with your child or any child you know. And if for some very unfortunate reason autism does show its ugly head, whether mildly but particularly severely, do know a better life without such ailments is guaranteed from God in the near future!