Raising a child is both challenging and joyous. Watching your child grow and develop is a source of delight.
Some children appear to develop differently than others. At times, parents may worry about the possibility of autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong developmental condition that affects 1 in 70 people; that’s almost 230,000 Australians. It is four times more common in boys than girls.
Autism Spectrum Disorder may impact on individuals in a number of ways. For example, it can affect the way she or he relates to the environment and interacts with others.
Children with ASD often benefit from early intervention. This is because children have greater opportunities to gain from the plasticity and flexibility of the very young brain. For example, involvement from a speech therapist can significant improve a child’s language and behavioural development.
Therefore, it is important for parents to be aware of the signs and seek help from their GP early on.
Often, a diagnosis of ASD is not made until 4 years of age. However, it is quite possible to make a diagnosis as early as 18 months into a child’s life.
So what should parents look out for?
✨ In the first year of life, red flags for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include little or no smiling, eye contact and gestures.
✨ Some early warning signs of ASD usually appear in the first two years. Some children have many early signs, whereas others have only a few.
✨ Some signs can change over time or become clearer as children get older.
If you think that your child may have Autism Spectrum Disorder, speak to your GP.