Most moms worry about giving birth to a healthy baby while pregnant. Not me, I went through those nine months without a care in the world but earned my worry stripes at delivery.
After pushing for 2 very long hours, my son came out limp and blue with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly in two loops round his neck. You guessed it- he was whisked off to the neonatal intensive care for further resuscitation.
That scrawny boy was fighter. He was promptly discharged from the NICU and came home with me. That experience left me jaded. I remember watching my son as he grew and constantly worrying if he might become autistic.
Not that there was no real reason for the worry other than the New Mom Neurosis as he was well on schedule on his developmental milestones.
If you harbor those nagging thoughts about your child being autistic, read on.
Autism is a Hodgepodge diagnosis for brain development abnormalities. The disease spectrum ranges from seemingly well adjusted kids to profoundly impaired kids requiring a lot of specialized care. Cause is unknown but thought to have both genetic and environmental causes.
The common denominator in autism is poor social development.
Here are a few things to look out for in a child as young as one year old
1. Your child will not make eye contact with you or anyone one
2. Eye contact or rather the avoidance of eye contact is the one way to quickly tell if autism could be lurking.
3. Your child seems to enjoy solitary and repetitive play for hours on end
4. Your child reacts strangely to sounds or loud noise.
5. Speech delay
6. Queer mannerisms like flapping hands for long periods at a time
7. Your child resists being held close or being hugged or kissed
Bonus point #8
8. Your child will not point to objects or people
Seek a second opinion if reassurances from your medical provider do not placate your fears. A mom’s intuition is often right.
Early diagnosis goes a long way with minimizing disability from autism.
None of the symptoms by themselves mean much but if you are noticing two or more behaviors in your child, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician or family doctor.