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Communicating as a Leader

Autism Symptoms – Look for the Warning Signs of Autism

Bertil Hjert asked:

Autism is a type of bio neurological disorder that tends to affect the ability of a person to interact socially & communicate in an effective manner.

There are several symptoms that would suggest you a child with Autism. Remember that the severity of symptoms varies from one individual to the other. However, there is a common connection between the core symptoms in the following areas:

a) Relationships & Social interaction:

• Facing trouble in developing non-verbal communication skills including body posture, facial expressions & eye contact.

• Inability to develop friendships with children of similar age group.

• No interest in sharing interests, enjoyment and/or achievements with other people.

• Lack of empathy. Children with autism may face trouble in understanding feeling of other people including sorrow or pain.

b) Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication:

• Taking too much time to talk. It is proved that about 50 percent of people with autism can never speak.

• Facing difficulty in cracking a conversation. People with autism often develop problems in holding on to a conversation once it has been started.

• Repetitive use of language. People with autism usually repeat a particular phrase again & again that they have heard before.

• Unable to understand listeners’ perspective. For instance, a child with autism will never understand that someone is cracking a joke or using slang. They take every word literally & usually fail to understand the real meaning of the conversation.

c) Restricted interest in activities or play:

• Children with autism develop a unique & unusual concentration on pieces. They concentrate on a particular part of toy such as wheels on a car rather than enjoying the activity with the entire toy.

• Children with autism tend to preoccupy their minds with certain topics. For instance, older children & adults get easily fascinated by train scheduler license plates or weather patterns.

• Children with autism often crave for sameness & routines. For instance, the child will always want to eat bread just before salad. He may also want to drive on the same route to school daily.

• They exhibit stereotyped behaviors. These behaviors include hand flapping & body rocking.

Once you observe above-mentioned symptoms in a child, you should know that the child has developed autism. You need to seek emergency medical attention if you observe the following symptoms:

• An infant or a child does not respond to people around him.

• An infant or a child resists cuddling.

• If a child is not pointing to objects, engaging in simple interactions or bringing items to you.

• A child does not use any words or tries to communicate by the age of eighteen months.

• The child exhibits self injurious behavior such as banging his head or shows aggression frequently.

• The child shows repetitive behavior such as spinning wheels, turning a toy car upside down etc.

• The child avoids eye contact or wants to be left alone.

• The child does not play ‘pretend’ games.

• The child finds it difficult to relate to others.

In case your doctor feels that there could be a problem, it would be good to look for a referral in order to visit a developmental pediatrician or a specialist. You may even contact your local early intervention agency for a child under three years of age or a public school for children above three.

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